Not Even Wolves

“A plague sent by angry Juno devastated the land [of the Aeginians] because it bore the name of one of her husband’s female favorites…The pestilence was too powerful for our efforts, and we yielded.”

—Thomas Bulfinch, The Myrmidons

Your name’s persistence choked
the wells, dusted the fields,
drew the wool  from our flocks.

A bull, the hound, my best
roan horse, all gone.
                                       Aegina,
this was your dead name’s work.

We begged the soil to draw
our fever. Our bodies burned
troughs in the earth. Our bones

peered through the skin, bleached
on the road’s unraked verges,
bones not even wolves would touch.