The week Barbara Jordan dies, January 18, 1996,
the universe brightens in apparent magnitudes of eloquence:
the Hubble sights 40-billion more galaxies,
scholars agree a 1612 elegy is Shakespeare's,
and Cupid, lost in the shadows of a Fifth Avenue rotunda,
is rediscovered: "Good light made all the difference."
Also that week Rushdie emerges from fatwa solitude
to read at the New York City Public Library,
where, among the literati, a certain film star sits in perfect view:
An almost cinematographic silver light graces the ballroom.
It's been a tragic, magnificent week. I want to stare
but a glance as I bask in Rushdie's prose will have to do.