only i am

it'll happen via levels and verticals, you won't even
notice before a cluster of tongues has ground you, smelt
from your body a thimble for death. you have no chance
without me. only i am cruelty-free: a cyclist helmet, a warm
button, a hand that puts away a sharp object, the truth
is that sometimes i am not well: i give out
spider-catchers for so-called luck, i dig
in the ground in search of a glass under which at the beginning
i hid a note with my name.

Translation of “tylko ja jestem.” © Justyna Bargielska. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by Katarzyna Szuster. All rights reserved.