virginia willis

Dearest,

I feel certain I am going mad again.

we will go through             terrible times. And            recover. I
begin to hear your voice, and can’t             concentrate. So I am
doing what seems

will give me the greatest possible happiness.

I don’t think two people could           have been happier      with
this disease. I know
that without                    you       I    can’t properly feel.

What I want to say is You             have

saved me.


Everything has gone from me


but the certainly of your goodness.

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, "The Author Writes the First Draft of His Wedding Vows,” an erasure of Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter to her husband, Leonard, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much

Image: George and Willie Muse were frequently exhibited as Eko and Iko. (Courtesy of Robert Stauffer)

When journalist Beth Macy first moved to Roanoke, Va. almost 30 years ago, a colleague told her about a tragic story that no one had ever been able to get: Two young African Americans, the Muse Brothers, had been stolen by a carnival in the late 19th or early 20th century — and exhibited in sideshows, because they were albinos.

Macy eventually did get the story, and it became her new book, Truevine.

‘Truevine’ Tells The Tale Of 2 Black Albino Brothers Forced To Work For The Circus