I pray to the Divine Mother of God,

Heavenly Queen of all creation,

that she give me the pure light of little animals

that have a single letter in their vocabulary.

Little animals without souls. Simple forms,

far from the cat’s despicable wisdom,

far from the owls’ fictitious profundity,

far from the horse’s sculptural knowledge.

Creatures that love without eyes,

with a single sense of undulating infinity,

and that gather in great heaps

to be eaten by birds.


I pray for the single dimension

that the little flat animals have

to tell of things covered with earth

under the shoe’s hard innocence.

There’s no one who cries because he understands

the million tiny deaths that the market holds—

that china crowd of decapitated onions

and that great yellow sun of old crushed fish.

You, Mother, always terrifying, whale of all skies;

you, Mother always joking, neighbor of borrowed parsley:

you know that I must understand the slightest flesh of the world

to be able to speak of the world.



—translated by Rebecca Seiferle