by Alex Valente.

Original Italian by Alda Merini (1931-2009), from ‘La Terra Santa’.

You made me into something dull
a petrified forest
one who cannot cry
for undone motherhoods.
You made me into a forest
where venomous snakes slither
and the hyena lurks,
because I was a nymph
kind and loving,
and I had tender cubs.
But my parched nails
dig sharp into the ground, so I, Medusa
stare into your eyes.
I, veteran dreamer,
even now yearning shelter in bed
cloaked by mourning
to drown out the flesh.

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