The She-Wolf awoke early in the morning under layers of newspapers at the end of an alley
by the gate of a deserted factory alongside a field
she got up slowly and stretched her limbs one at a time
her claws piercing the earth’s skin

words like grains of sand
seeds and the nits of creatures past, future
were imprinted on her fur, had dug into her flesh

life’s white-hot shriek specters begging in the street
the She-Wolf stretches her mouth wide across the horizon
to receive the first light of the rising sun
the life-giving milk

suddenly the She-Wolf tensed and shook herself, fluffing her body like a young sun
licked by the earth-mother of all wolves, combed, made new as in the beginning


you have bitten my dugs in anger many times,
master of a handful of words,
that is why
your milk will be mixed with blood, your every morsel of food
will taste of blood,
the wind will betray you, your traces will be found
by the Bloody Ones
your wound will dog your every step
however fast you run
– it is the bite in your heel itself
that will never heal
just as it cannot be healed in the Bloody Ones’ tribe

snow upon snow has fallen since then
I have forgiven you
more times than I can recall
you have been sheltered under my belly in a dry place in a warm cave
the icicles on the ceiling drip wounded milk my tear drops
a world in water flowing through a sieve

when your eyes were still glued shut somebody cried for us
somebody lamented drenching my body with fertile tears
yet I made sure not to lead you to the vale of tears
it was for you that I expanded across seven valleys
and yet one more, the deepest,
I stretched over the entire land
I reached beyond the edge
seven times seven seasons I shed my fur
covering everything
even if tonight what can be seen is only an eroded hill
a bare mountain and its new valley

all this, that neither the shade of a shade should reach you
nor the evil eye, not the least grain of evil
my gilded offspring, my golden pups,
reach you or touch you this cold morning
– or ever

translated from Romanian by
Adam J. Sorkin and the poet