Title: 'Lincoln Memorial'
Author: Anna Rousseau annadelamico@yahoo.co.uk
Fandom: The West Wing
Genre: Poetry/Angst
Category: JL/SS
Rating: PG
Archive: Please, just tell me where
Set: Post-'Noel', pre 'Leadership Breakfast'
Spoilers: 'In the Shadow of Two Gunmen' & 'Noel'
Summary: A little poem related to Josh and his PTSD and inspired by the lack of J/S in 'Noel'.

Notes: Okay, this is the first West Wing poem I've written, it just came to me I thought I'd write it. Feedback is devoured!

Disclaimer: I don't own the West Wing, I don't own Washington DC, and if you don't like it, I'll hire Sam to bust you like a piƱata.


Can you hear what he hears
The cacophony in the silent night air
He sits at the foot of a President long dead
Coffee hot in one hand
His head in the other

The still nocturnal calm carries every sound
Tyres wailing, skidding across the tarmac
Shoes tapping on marble steps
The shutters of cameras capturing images of monuments to the idea of America
Each photograph taken produces a shot of noise
Loud as the crack of a gun

The he notices it
The bitter taste in his mouth
It could be the coffee
But he knows what it really is

He tries hard to trick himself
To ignore the tourists' enthusiastic photography
Each snap of a shutter is amplified in his head
Sounding familar
An unwelcome return of the old enemy

He finds his hand clenched
Coffee spilt in pools around him
Crimson welts blossom across the skin
Even the burns do not bring a ceasefire
The insistant snapping
The gunshots
The paper cup is tossed aside and he stands

He finds himself against a slab of stone
Concentrating on keeping his spine straight
His eyes are shut to the light of the stars
And he breaths
And he tries not to think of Roslyn
And he tries not to think of the shots
The screams
He tries not to think of the blood

A hand materialises on his shoulder
His right eye opens cautiously
The air is quiet now
Truly quiet
Quiet to the depths of space
A serenity settles over him

The hand is attached to an arm
The arm finds itself around his shoulders
The arm belongs to a body
The body into which he collapses
Nothing is spoken
His mind is quiet now
This body could continue such a list at length
But the body is of a man with few words for this occasion

And for now they hold each other
And it is enough right now
And it is something they have never done
Not like this
Their heads are pressed together
Fingers entangled in thick, warm locks
Hair brown on black

He manages to keep back the tears
The tears the embrace is seducing him to spill
And then he draws back
He takes a breath and nods
The other simply rubs his arm

They start to walk past Lincoln
Past the lovers on their midnight rendezvous
Past the gates
Past the shops
He looks at his friend as the street lamp's orange light bounces off his ebony hair
A bar across the street blinks with neon lights
Luring them in
After a day like today they need a glass of bourbon
And neither of them drink alone that night

Feedback is much appreciated, I'd like to know what you think of WW poetry...