Seven Views of Abraham Lincoln's Death


1.
April 14th 1865:  Ford's theater is full
with rich fat laughter bellowing out of rich
fat people.  Abraham Lincoln surveys the scene
from his private box.  Meanwhile,

John Wilkes Booth takes some snuff then strides
inside with something dark in his pocket.  Lincoln
composes a speech during a particularly boring scene.
The speech is satisfactory, he thinks

stroking his beard.  With one shot Booth flings
Lincoln's thoughts across the stage.  On horseback,
Booth wonders if he will ever act again.
Federal officers think not and rush to make sure.

2.
Booth enters stage right, furious,
sword unsheathed.
His mother, the luscious queen,
weeps on her bed.
A noise is heard.  Booth plunges his sword
into the curtain to catch the false king
yet it is Lincoln's noble figure that yelps
"Oh!  I am slain!"
Fade to black.

3.
Lincoln eases his long stately legs
into the front of his black Lincoln Cadillac.
The sun is wiped across the sky

like a pad of butter and Lincoln rolls back the roof.
The wind pops off his top hat, but he deftly
plucks it from the air with antennae-like arms.

The fresh wind ruffling his beard, Lincoln feels
a freedom, like a bird in flight, as drunk old Booth
comes careening round the corner.

4.
Lincoln attending an important dinner—
Suddenly his stoic face is bright red in panic:
A chicken bone lodged in his windpipe!
Booth seen fleeing out the back door

5.
—Lincoln, represented here as a mammoth sphere
of gas and magma, hurtling through space
with a wide array of reptiles crawling on his back
is unexpectedly bashed in the head
by a large rock formation known as Booth.
—What happened to the reptiles?
—Dead, all dead.  Any other questions?
—May I go to the bathroom?

6.
Booth is doubled over, head planted
firmly in hands.  He is pale and shaking.
He is pale and shaking and sweating.
I cannot tell if he is crying, or, if he is
I cannot tell if they are tears of joy
or sadness.
The room is very dark.
—Are you so pale John
because you murdered the president?
—No! he barks, I am this pale
because I'm not a damn negro!

7.
The thin bearded cell swims blissfully
through the vein, before being swallowed
by the pale mustached phagocyte.  
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