9.8 / August 2014

Miriam Splitting

Her diamond’s a mind that bursts like a light bulb: epic, inept
and etched onto window panes around the world,
reflecting rainbows through nail clippings –

blue girls in dog paintings.

She declares, A daffodil’s calculus to the yellow divorced. Cry,
revived triumphant in spring. I’m mute
as a crepe fruit

Faded neighbors say, Schizo.

Man damn, don’t believe her. She collapses … into nocturnes
in the city library, hears moonlight arabesques
dripping with honey. She slides,

all spine, riding Morocco. Rococo.

Then come visions of starlings and rumpled Richelieu, issuing
from Shakespeare. Defecating on Thomas Love Peacock,
they fix her with grainy gazes of garret,

discourse upon Plato.

With a flurry of wings, they burrow wormholes and wombs
at the back of the books. They tell her to shush,
though their echoing voices (Richelieu’s too)

chatter in congress from PL to S.

The pansy pressed librarian wears a red fez. Head undressed,
on a platter, Miriam says, I’m undefeated, unimpressed.
But when she walks by the river,

the river heaves its breasts.

Miriam sees kingfishers in the reeds wearing cilices, stinging
flies hitting home, and then beside her – reigning – a girl
with earthmover eyes and tourmaline skin:

grinning – off key – singing.

Linda Ann Strang is the author of the poetry collection Wedding Underwear for Mermaids. Her work has been published in many journals, including Orbis, Yemassee and The Hollins Critic. The editor of Poetry Kanto nominated her work for a Pushcart Prize in 2007. Linda lives in South Africa.