This poem is taken from Stand 222, 17(2) May - June 2019.

Andrew Neilson Two Poems
Hypatia and the Zealots

You descend among us, we close-packed men,
          so we may seek you out
and cast our vote, each with an ostrakon,
for in tiles and shells we shall brook no doubt,
          even unto tearing
grace itself, from clothes and limbs and skin,

leaving you in pieces multitudinous,
          versions said and unsaid,
from Lucy, Cecilia and Agnes,
to the barmaid dragged by the cycle shed,
          girls raped as reconnaissance,
a blaze of violence yoked upon violence

which, when its boked-up smoke comes to clear,
          reveals what awaits us,
compadres, droogs, bruddahs, sons of the fear:
a high place where we can only witness
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