The Cow

Issue 10 | Summer 2023 |



Io was many things before
she was made into a moon.
Nymph mother, river-god father,
she was Juno’s first priestess.
Juno would see her suffer.
Jupiter could not stop himself.
Jupiter made her a cow.
Jupiter made her a white
heifer. Jupiter became
clouds. Io became a cow.

If I’m meant to laugh or sneer
or move along, I can’t.
Io, I’m sorry you were made
into many things before you got
to be a moon.

You are now erupting more
than anything in the cosmos.
The myths never called you angry.
Io, the blushing maiden, Io,
the violet eater. Io, the wanderer.

But I hope your volcanoes scream
as you orbit Jupiter. Io, I’m sorry.
Io, I’m sorry. Even as a moon,
he’s pulling you closer.
He’s taking parts of you away
with every second.

Two hundred thousand miles
is not enough distance.
Tidal forces make you swelter,
they make you burst. Io, you are
still a moon, even now.
Io, you weren’t a cow
all your life. You would return
to your first shape.
You would be a mother.