I died in a trick, tricked myself. A soldier, slain
at my general’s hands, answering a command
as false as the gift in our plan, whose unborn
foal first killed an ordinary man like me.
Deceived by a queen, choked by a king, inside
a holy offering that won a war, burned a city,
destroyed another king and many ordinary men.
Sacrificed in a sacrifice so as not to sacrifice
the element of surprise, the last thing I heard
was the voice of the most beautiful woman
in the world, calling to me, calling to me.
An iron grip – Cyclops-blinding, bow-strong –
shut my reply forever in that belly of shame
while love, unanswered, still echoed my name.
Helen, suspecting a trick, circled the Trojan Horse,
mimicking the wives of the Greeks inside. Anticlus,
fooled, tried to answer, but was prevented from doing so
by Odysseus who, in some versions, suffocated him to death.