Translated from the Spanish by Alexis Almeida.
There was once a woman who took it upon herself to breastfeed a wolf cub. It’s not as strange as it sounds, she took it upon herself because the cub was there, because she was also a mother. And so she thought, I’m a woman breast-feeding a wolf, should I stay in the woods? Should I go back to the city? Where will I find the peace I need to feed this baby, far away from the gaze of the men that find it such a strange spectacle? And all the while her breasts were sore and hurt her, her nipples were chafing between the teeth of the baby wolf, who was also pulling on them a lot. The woman cried, and her milk flowed. The cub started to grow, little by little he started to become a wolf. Once in a while he would bite the woman; she would stop and say hey, that hurt, please don’t do that, believing and trusting. Believing that what she was doing was the best she could do; trusting that this wolf that in some ways was her son couldn’t hurt her too much. What happened next? We’ll never know, because one night, she got lost in the woods with her baby. What I’m sure of is that there’s no woman in the woods; the wolf packs, if they exist, make it to the last trees on the thick border that separates them from civilization and you see, still in the darkness, pairs of eyes that pierce the night with their sharp edges.
It’s difficult to raise a baby because it goes against all habit and acceleration, against the desire for something to be happening all the time, and to have something to talk about. The baby learns things that stew in a very slow time-frame, very slow while it’s happening but the entirety of a life is just a flash.
This is a false poem about those days: Baby you left me mute in this cloud of happiness and pain I have your face or at least I don’t have mine and I don’t know what to say I’m a baby and because of that I understand you, but one of us should probably grow up now.
This is the book of the little dog and the bone we’re going to call it that because there’s a little dog on the cover the little dog is dreaming of a bone! this is the bone it seems that the little dog is hungry these are pages, see? and they turn like this with the tip of your fingers one at a time with your finger one page like that another page good! you can also eat it yes no problem
Marina Yuszczuk works as journalist and a film critic for the cultural supplement Las12 of Página 12, and for the magazine La Agenda in Buenos Aires. With the press Rosa Iceberg, which she founded with Tamara Tenenbaum and Emilia Erbetta, she recently published Los arreglos (2017), her first book of prose.
Alexis Almeida grew up in Chicago. Her chapbook, I Have Never Been Able to Sing, is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse, and her translation of Roberta Iannamico’s Wreckage is recently out with Toad Press. She teaches at the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College, and the Bard microcollege at the Brooklyn Public Library.