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Linda Ann Strang – Ⅲ

The Feather Saxophonist 

                   (10 March 2004)

                   For Loganathan




When she was deflowered

it was as if the world was bereft of baby’s

breath because her lover did not love her.

When they went to the fairground


together they looked into a magic mirror

that showed their hearts: he had

none, only bones bandaged in black lace;

her heart was plump with gold stars,


like the Pleiades by candlelight.

In spite of this insight, when he died

she wept. All over the place.

Now she’s met a man with jazz and angel


feathers in the Palm Sunday of his hands.

When she sees him the Aretha red roses

in her soul’s renaissance sing torch songs.

But she beats them down, as if roses were fire


in the violins, embarrassed

because they give her away.

Surely the saints say: Love is! Like climbing

flying stairs till you find yourself in clouds


of feathers and saxophone music

at the top – there your heart’s so full of whats

that no-one can earth it. Forget the feather tax

on your flight plan, baby. It’s worth it.