Jackie

Jackie

jackie is wandering the white house: alone for the first time, save for a few secret security officers. moments after her husband was shot inches away from her, she wipes the blood off her face, but can’t get it out of her pink skirt. in the preceding hours and days, she is focused. she wants to honor her husband, she wants to put on a brave, put-together face. she is shushed, and talked down, but she has a legacy to protect. no one remembers garfield, or mckinley. they remember lincoln: lincoln, honorable in death, extravagant in burial. she wants the world to see what they’ve done to jack. she wants the world to know she isn’t afraid. someone could put a bullet in her head as she walks down pennsylvania avenue and 17th street and she would welcome it.

jackie was powerless, powerless to save her husband. she tried: picking up pieces of his brain, his skull, pressing them against the gaping hole in his head, holding him on her lap as they drive. those three days between assassination and funeral blend together in memory: swearing in johnson, planning, fighting, grieving. swimming in that swirling darkness cast in the shadow of her husband’s absence. it may never go away, but the pain will lessen with time.

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