Published on Academy of American Poets (


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.

About this Poem

“‘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.”
—Dorothea Lasky


Dorothea Lasky

Born on March 27, 1978, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dorothea Lasky received her BA from Washington University.

Date Published: 2018-04-02

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