the priests, they say, had chosen her by lot.
the lord’s new bridge would not withstand a flood;
foundations re-erected in the mud
had all collapsed; the hierophants then sought
to pacify the spirits of the spot;
the slab descended on her with a thud.
the gods, appeased by pulsing human blood,
permitted the construction to be wrought.
in our enlightened modern nation-states
we look away from lethal accidents
at monuments we’re racing to complete.
the powerful will never hesitate
to sacrifice more workers to cement
and seal their ghosts below our passing feet.