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This poem is taken from PN Review 187, Volume 35 Number 5, May - June 2009.

Prayer to Saint Agatha Evan Jones
We can affirm nothing with confidence concerning her history…
As an attribute in art her breasts, which were cut off, are often
shown on a dish… she was credited with the power of arresting the
eruptions of Mount Etna, so she is invoked against any outbreak of
                                                                   Butler’s Lives of the Saints

Martyr and holy virgin of the third
century, refuter of married life,
pure thinker and resister of lechers,
I wish to write sooner, while you were young
and living among the countries of our
civilisation’s birth. I have every
country in mind now and every childhood,
and you are a thousand women whose breasts
have been severed because of their beliefs.
I will say here something of life without you.

The kind of men you knew are gone. Women

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