They are not real She said from the cellar And slowly unveiled The flat scope Lizards and their eggs That I hang around the neck You will break your legs He warned me And I believed him Ruby edgings around The mushroom-colored stones And the man who told me The women Are like pictures in a book They are not real And so I believed him Despite all the years Finally free In the end of an era She held her breasts On a golden platter Despite the pain And blessings everywhere Eat she said And they ate They did
Copyright © 2018 by Dorothea Lasky. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 2, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
“‘Agatha’ is a poem I wrote while staring at paintings of St. Agatha. St. Agatha endured unspeakable violence but kept her faith in a holy power and the other world, in spite of the cruelty of this one. ‘Agatha’ is a poem from my new book, Milk, which is about the power of creativity and love.”