Translated from the Macedonian by P.H. Liotta
after René Girard
Be free, but on your own.
Flee to the wilderness across the border
if you want to be unlike us
or among us, under such control.
It’s better you suffer, you
and your heirs, better
to admit it and free us
from our guilt
so we won’t be forced to repeat this ugly incident.
You’ve been chosen, all the same,
not by merit but by lot–
isn’t it enough that what you’ve said
is already censored and forbidden
before you’ve said it? Stillborn acts.
You’ll encourage others
to swear and spit on you-
and they’d do the same to us, too
though now their praise flows over us.
Others might choose you as the next
Sweet Victim. You may think
we killed your father
and each took turns with your mother,
but it was you who did it,
who though, so blissfully sincere…