I Used to Be a Bird
[As for me, I used to be a bird]
As for me, I used to be a bird
with a gentle white womb,
someone cut my throat
just for laughs,
I don’t know.
As for me, I used to be a great albatross
and whirled over the seas.
Someone put an end to my journey,
without any charity in the tone of it.
But even stretched out on the ground
I sing for you now
my songs of love.
by Alda Merini / translated from the Italian by Susan Stewart • from Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini • Princeton University Press