The selection of an epigraph is a serious matter. Because It Is My Blood has two of them. The first, which you’ll find below, is a Stephen Crane poem, and the title of Because It Is My Blood is derived from the it:
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”
Stephen Crane is certainly not my favorite poet nor is “In the Desert” my favorite poem by a mile – nay, a marathon. On some level, I’m not even sure I LIKE this poem.* Alas, it is the poem that most suits the book, Anya in the story, and probably my frame of mind at the time I was writing.
*My policy is not to criticize other writers online. However, Stephen Crane is long dead, so I feel I’m in the clear here.