Wednesday, August 30, 2006

From an Appendix of Lesser-Known Saints

Lucinda became a saint because she knew God wanted her
to claw out her own eyes and gorge on grass until she

fainted rather than marry a protestant man, who,
by the way, smelled of worms and never brushed his teeth.

Her miracles after she lost her sight were minor:
a levitation, bells ringing all at once on a Monday morning,

giving her patient father a migraine, and the healing of
goldfish in several pails. She ate the fine sharp grass

until she was too heavy to walk and when the roots were
nibbled into the ground, she asked her brothers to roll

her in a wheelbarrow to the next pasture. As she grew
bigger she flattened and spread out, like pale lava oozing

to form a new island. The townspeople took to wearing
handkerchiefs over their noses when they passed her end

of the field, the effulgence from her bowels was so foul
and rich. The horses crowded against the far fence,

crows gasped in the trees and the indigo swallows that
appeared in the south every spring fell dead in soft

speckled rain about her thighs. Eventually, as Lucinda
had long hoped, the grass diet killed her. She

ascended directly to heaven; her massive calves and
cheeks now light as spun sugar candy.

Her father still sees her in his dreams. She rides a cow,
modestly sitting sideways. She’s slim again but her eyes

are green this time and she says nothing, just smiles
like she’s happy, but a little bored.

Any place I need to cut the "fat"?

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