And the world stood on one leg like the crane
when mother gave me birth, the tiger
whose madness lives in its head,
the wild boar so wild,
the cheetah faster than wind in such a windy time.
She just kept on giving birth
until I was born at last
to see the world with my own eyes.
Poor mother, poor skinny mother licked me clean,
breast-fed me, hid me in the furs of her belly.
I was born to snow, sun, and the wind
and said right away: me, an animal. I prayed for night
darker than night, I cried out to the night
in which a light moved, bright, back and forth:
sweet Madonna, Dearest Lady,
let me sleep now in the peace of your forehead.
God of animals have mercy upon me.
I am barely born and my strength is gone already,
my furry baby-paws pray: help me.
And my mother began to wail
like a bass violin, like a tortured ass
and began to ready herself for death
the way an old mountain ash, trembling,
gulps down the night into its self- king of kings,
name of names, name of Death.