Aretha Drops Her Fur Coat To The Stage

as if it is the whole fallen world sliding
from her shoulders of grace

as if she has known this world
as broken and holy and shown us so

as if she has been coated
in golden promises but refuses

to let them keep her from praising
to the rafters with her joyful arms

as if she decided to sprout wings
from the gilt cap-sleeves of her gown

as if she decided to sprout wings
from the rich glory of her vibrato

as if she’s showing the ghost of James Brown
how it’s done — a simple drop, no melodrama

as if it really does make her feel
like a natural woman

as if that’s her president up there
in the balcony catching some spirit

as if the whole world is sliding
from her shoulders

puny you and me clinging to the soft scruff of it,
as we slide down together

dissolving into a pool of gold at her feet
where we belong