I Am

Poem by Anne-Marie Derése, translated by Judith Skillman.

I am the red brand
On the shoulder of the condemned,
The gallows and the rope,
The ax and the block,
The whip and the cross.
I am the lion’s tooth
In the flesh of the gazelle.
In my veins I have
The blood of the slave trader.

I have deserved the hunger of the wolves.

My victims have left me nothing
But their deaths.

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I Am