Canis lupus signatus

Maricela  Guerrero
Translated from the Spanish by Robin Myers

Eight thousand seven hundred kilometers or 4700 nautical miles away, a forest has been blazing for days now.

A plane sent to smother the fire crashed and became one with the flames; that’s what the news said.

In the forest lived families of wolves, Canis lupus signatus. The article shows a photo of a mother wolf with her pups clinging to her back so she could carry them up the mountainside and regurgitate the meat she’d just gone hunting for. In the next photo, the pups are gulping down the soft and bloody pulp their mother has delivered to them.

How will those pups and their mother be missed in the world.

In what strange way might the introduction of fire and firefighters and fire-smothering planes have been able to change the course of wolf-families in other parts of the universe.

 

Canis lupus signatus

A 8 mil setecientos kilómetros o 4 mil setecientas millas náuticas se encuentra un bosque ardiendo desde hace días.

Un avión que iba a sofocar el incendio se estrelló y se hizo uno con las llamas, eso dijeron las noticias.

Ahí vivían familias de lobos, el Canis lupus signatus, en el reportaje está la foto de una madre lobo con sus cachorros trepándose en la espalda para llevarlos bosque arriba y regurgitar la carne que acaba de ir a cazar. En la siguiente fotografía los cachorros tragan la masa sanguinolenta y suave que su madre les ha entregado.

De qué manera harán falta esos cachorros y su madre en el mundo.

De qué curiosa forma la introducción del fuego y los bomberos y los aviones sofocaincendios hubieran podido cambiar el rumbo de las familias de lobos de otras partes del universo.

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image of maricela guerro
Photo:
Andrea Martinez

Maricela Guerrero is the author of nine poetry collections. El sueño de toda célula won Mexico’s Clemencia Isaura Prize in 2018 and was just published by Cardboard House Press as The Dream of Every Cell in Robin Myers’ English translation. Cardboard House Press also published her book Kilimanjaro, translated by Stalina Villareal, in 2018. Guerrero has been a member of Mexico’s prestigious National System of Artists. Her work has also been translated into German, Swedish, and French. 

Image of Robin Myers
Photo:
Clairette Atri

Robin Myers is a Mexico City-based poet and Spanish-to-English translator. Book-length translations include Another Life by Daniel Lipara (2021), The Science of Departures by Adalber Salas Hernández (2021), Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos (2020), The Restless Dead by Cristina Rivera Garza (2020), and Animals at the End of the World by Gloria Susana Esquivel (2020). Other translations have appeared in Granta, The BafflerKenyon ReviewThe Common, Harvard ReviewTwo LinesWaxwingAsymptote, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She was among the winners of the 2019 Poems in Translation Contest (Words Without Borders / Academy of American Poets). As a poet, Robin’s work has been selected for the 2022 Best American Poetry anthology and appears in journals such as the Yale ReviewDenver QuarterlyPoetry NorthwestAnnulet Poetry Journal, and Massachusetts Review, among others. Her collections have been published as bilingual English-Spanish editions in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Spain. She is an alumna of the Vermont Studio Center, the Banff Literary Translation Centre, the Community of Writers, and Under the Volcano. She is represented by the Willenfield Literary Agency.

"'Encouragement is a round warm form of resistance,' writes Maricela Guerrero, as if describing her own project. Building furrows of words and speaking in tree, Guerrero creates a poetry to shelter in. In her capable hands and tongue we are carried in rivers of nourishment. It’s exactly what the world needs, and I am flooded with gratitude. For joy, for grace, for tenderness, for righteous grief and its acknowledgment, for inspiration and sustenance, you must read this book."
—Eleni Sikelianos

"Maricela Guerrero leads us right back into the classrooms where many of us first encountered the scientific language that opened us to (and distanced us from) the plant kingdom. And she leads us out again, forcing us to confront the territories of devastation before she introduces us, suddenly small, into the cells, the sap in the trees, the shapes of the leaves. Everything pulses and everything shines there: language, connections among the elements, protest."
—Cristina Rivera Garza

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