Burning and Splendor
To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
- Jack Gilbert, 1925-2012
I’m hot, Dan’s sister writes in his notebook. Then I’m Cuban,
rejoicing in her own wanton beauty wired up in the ICU,
glad and bountiful, the tube in her throat refusing silence.
Dan’s sister dances in the ruthless furnace of this world,
glad for Dan’s arrival, though it frightens her that he’s come
so far, glad for Dan’s notebook he carries everywhere to record
the burning and splendor of this world. Jack Gilbert died yesterday.
Sorrow everywhere. And suffering. But let us not praise the Devil.
Let us bring the notebook to Dan’s sister. Let us declaim
that in the furnace of this world she is Cuban. She is hot.