We Will Try Again

Forgive your enemies, but never forget… Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

President John F. Kennedy

November 22, 1963

by Lewis Turco

Weeping, I write this.  You are dead.  The dark
animal of the heart, the beast that bides
stilly in its web of flesh, has stolen
flight again out of the air.  What is there
to say?  That I wish we were gods?  The the
mind of man were equal to his lusts?  It
is not – not yet.  You were a man, but more:
you were an idea dreamt in a sweet
hour while the spider slept.  We make our
web:  We are ourselves victim and victor.
You were and are ourselves. In killing you
we murder an emblem of what we strive
to be:  not men, but Man.  In mourning you,
good Man, we grieve for what we are, not what
we may become.
   .                                 .  Sleep, my heart.  We will try
once more.  Sleep, sleep, John.  We will try again.

The Assassination

by Donald Justice

It begins again, the nocturnal pulse.
It courses through the cables laid for it.
It mounts to the chandeliers and beats there, hotly.
We are too close.  Too late, we would move back.
We are involved with the surge.

Now it bursts.  Now it has been announced.
Now it is being soaked up by newspapers.
Now it is running through the streets.
The crowd has it.  The woman selling carnations
and the man in the straw hat stand with it in their shoes.

Here is the red marquee it sheltered under;
Here is the ballroom, here
The sadly vaious orchestra led
By a single gesture. My arms open
It enters.  Look, we are dancing.