My mother gave birth in December. Snow fell on the river.
Water froze over the fish by month’s end. She showed
me to everyone since I hadn’t died . . . . “We’ll take her out
in pieces, an arm and a leg caught, maybe unformed.”
Only a sign like a silent hiss remains from that time:
a return to that womb with my child, head down, body
still forming, two loops of flesh around her neck.
Step away from that December, from the icy river,
back and back to the unconceived
the beginning April of nothing.
From Il Catalogo della Gioia (Milan: Mondadori, 2003). By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2015 by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi. All rights reserved.