What did she permit him to see
before he was transformed? Her foot,
her ankle, white, her back
and her breast? What do you see
when you see? I saw the crescent
in her hair. I saw
the back of the world in the water,
I lay with the water – the swift
demented ford. I distinguished the light
from the light.
But then there is nothing.
The bees are silent,
the birds, the clouds that are moving past.
As though the world were regarding my pizzle
in the water. Did I see something?
My fur absorbs the wind,
bristles. I can smell the spot
where she was, where she dipped her white foot
into the water, I scrape
the skin – the light – from off the birch-tree.
My hooves are sinking down into the ooze.
(Translated by Richard Dove)