Still life with JFK


His profile in shining lunar silver
twinkles with Dublin glee
on the half-dollar (JFK,
insouciant).  Camelot forever.

I was born in ’52, believe
it or not, but only
52 years ago I
lost my innocence (heave

sigh).  I was 11 years old
when they shattered the crown
of the redhead king.  My own.
A double birthday, dubbed.  Fold

up the deck of your paper sailboat, son;
in Newport they will mourn
the people’s chosen one,
killed by the backlash of the gun.

A still life, now.  Brown Decades
(Peto).  Reminiscences
of Lincoln.  Whitman’s
chrysanthemum (cresting cascades

of lilacs).  Memphis underworld –
I gather the limbs of Osiris
(52-pickup, Rimini-Venice).
First king, dead king.  Neighborhood

gossip has it, Solomon,
he’s coming back.  He
never died.  Like Jonah
Houdini, he’ll eat fish in Hebron

yet again.


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