IO SPEAKS TO JUPOTER ABOUT THE LONELINESS OF HER FATE

According to Roman mythology, Io, a river nymphs,
had the misfortune of being subjected to the lust
of Jupiter, who, in an attempt to avoid the rage and
jealousy of his wife Juno, transformed Io into a heifer.

I would have expected an owl
with yellow eyes to haunt the air.
Maybe a cheetah crouched against
an orange horizon. A crow opening
like a black flower in the trees.

Instead, I spend my days
in this thistle-tangled field
sweltering in the sun
beneath a red sky twisted
with black branches.

You cannot imagine the awful buzz
of horseflies. The daisies
with their rusted mouths.
The dull eternity of horses.
Their purple tongues licking the air.

At night, the eyes of Argus blink
in the trees. Black waves of wind
roll over me, flooding the field.
The air cuts at my throat.
And my eyes drown in dust.

The only comfort I know
comes when I think of Juno
swimming through the flames
of my voice. The brilliant
swell of blues and reds.

Nothing left except
a black cloud of smoke,
a hole in the sky
drifting across the horizon
like the charred memory of a god.