translated from the italian by ISABELLA DESENDI
POEMS THE OKAPI
For entire millenniums I was undiscovered. If you saw me, I was a mistake, a horse, a zebra semi-scorched. I had no need for sunglasses, nor a mustache or false documents, hid behind shutters of leaves, shelter from your few questions. I escaped the scrutiny of Adam, Eve, and Linnaeus by existing in the densest wood of the Garden of Eden. On the ark I travelled incognito. Rather than risk running into you at the market I graze nearby, eat venomous herbs that would kill you. But if I haven’t stepped out, it’s not because I’m coy. Don’t call me a diva if I don’t show up to parties. You’ll never have gossip on me. I refuse interviews with magazines, don’t respond well to paparazzi.