the healing muse

Volume 7, 2007

I Am No More or Less

Sarah Jefferis

If I brought you my breasts on a platter
you would pour sauce on them before you sliced them;
you'd know I was as gentle as St. Agatha
who carried her pomegranates on silver
after the Roman soldiers plucked them.

But you would deem them vile,
paint them with arsenic, or mercury,
wrap them in tobacco plants
and rotten apples, or even compresses soaked
in cow urine and live pigeons severed in half.

You'd call me a witch,
sever off my own flesh and force it
in the mouths of my sons as they watch me flame.

So I will draw my flesh out of your mouth
and spill the second Milky Way into the ocean.
They cannot make you immortal.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 7, 2007.

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