Abraham Lincoln's pockets at
the time of his death contained:
eyeglasses, two pair, both for reading,
and their cases,
and a lens polisher to go with them,
along with a linen handkerchief
(which was quite the different thing)
for his not insignificant allergies,
and a pocketknife for the slicing of
the lunch-apples he favored.
He had a watch fob, but no watch.
There was a brown leather wallet with
a $5 Confederate note folded into its corner.
Confederate or not, it had his picture on it.
There were nine (mostly complimentary)
newspaper clippings as a kind of proof.
John Wilkes Booth's pockets contained a diary
("I struck boldly, and not as the papers say.")
accompanied by five photographs,
all of women, all beautiful.
The awkward lawyer kept his words
in his head and his life in his pockets,
and the vainglorious actor kept his life
in his head and his words gently loaded
into a fourty-four caliber derringer because,
eloquence only got him as far
as the edge of a stage.
We only ever remember the gun,
because the gun was what finally worked.
The contents of their pockets is accurate.
Their uses, probably less so.