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Showing posts from 2017

Between pages

Between the pages number seven and nine, snug between familiar names is mine.
I have a page.
A page that feels velvety underneath my fingers that flutter like butterflies looking for nectar.
A page,
milk coloured between number seven and nine, each laced in black.
I was number 27 but most others did not find much hope in writing.
So I became,
the white page between number seven and nine, each laced in black.
I repeat myself.
Number seven and nine, each laced in black.
I repeat myself.
Number seven and nine...

My fingers looking for nectar, tracing invisible velvet lines. The nectar of days past
when I was just a page between...
For us who did find hope cuddled up between numbers and pages life had other things in mind.
I mean,
there's not really that much hope anymore
for numbers seven and nine.

My grandmother, Aphrodite

We would dance in the kitchen, wrapped up in the smell of boiled vine leafs. My grandmother and I.
We would start the days arguing. "Sadik, - she would say, at seven in the morning, - the world has not seen such spoiling of a child. Let her be cold. Let her dress herself for heaven's sake."
And so we would go on for years. Two heads of wavy chestnut hair and dark round eyes, always in conflict. Two stubborn heads, fiery heads, proud heads.
We would dance around the kitchen. Me, my grandma, my mum and my aunt, each taking turns to waltz around the house with my granddad.
My grandmother, was not like all the other grandmothers, soft and sweet and naive. She reminded me of the two headed eagle stamped vividly on the red flag of our country. Strong, eyes piercing the life of me. I could, I cannot lie to my grandma.
One look and I am undone, solved like the most simple puzzle. Her dark eyes, pierce the life of me.
Her dark eyes seemed to skip the fact that I had a face and ev…

Flavours of peach

My mother bought peaches today. Soft, plushy, pink orange, colours of my grandmother's garden in full bloom. The mellow smell of peaches opens me up inside and fills me with nostalgia for summertime in Albania.
Memories of messy bites and juice running down sticky, tiny hands. A sweet and prickly taste fills my mouth with images of open spaces and hot, dry courtyards, sounds of grandmother washing carpets and children playing on the streets and dust wearing only shorts and cotton vests...
Peaches, remind me of the smell and the tickling touch of my mother's hair on my face as she put me to bed late during hot starry southern nights. And hugs. And love. And rosy soap on my face before bedtime...
It's amazing, how many different flavours you can taste on a single peach.

But so does life...

No, I'm not upset my loves. I'm looking for a poem, a line, or word. One that's not been said before.  I'm looking in the water for lost sounds to describe the colour: dark blue-green, sunshine-drizzled waves, playing with the wind. I am quite happy laying in this place of light and calm, looking at the light grey clouds, waiting for a drop of rain to come. Waiting for a drop of rain to fall on my lips and quench my thirst for inspiration.  I think, I imagine, I daydream, of poems and lines, and words I would never dare to speak or write. Harsh stanzas that only rhyme with the broken rhythm of life. Fast poems that my tongue will slam in secret around my mouth until the overflow pours out. I think bills and forms and things I don't want to think about. I look at you and think again about the good things in life, my lovers, my loved ones. Your eyes, I daydream of them looking deep into mine and then snap. Snap out of it.  I am the harsh, the broken, the unrhymed. Th…

Worn off

Another day and nothing happens.
My ears echo, I'm drowning in deep waters and I die.
This is how I die.
With every second my heart beats slower and my dreams stretched far away start running from me. My dreams, abandoned, worn off, pissed off, reject me. They stick up their noses, they won't talk to me.
This is how I die.
In crowds and constant noises of conveyor belts for fifteen hours in a day that only lasts another second and I wait, for rest.
My dreams, worn off. My jacket, worn off. My soul... crushed under the conveyor belt.
This is how I die.


Food chewed yesterday still sticks on his lips.
Beans, meat, bread,
Something like vomit between his front teeth.
His breath smells like spices
and cigarettes.
His mouth staining
her dishwasher liquid skin.
His mouth, recounting
last night's stains on soapy sheets,
to his rotten food mouthed friends.
Beer, laughter, curse, curse, so much cursing...

Their mouths
our washed up names.

Just a day...

Her bed is a warm home made of duvets and pillows that were once clean and fresh. But today she cannot be bothered. Clothes thrown everywhere, but who needs clothes. Who needs clothes.
There is no food in the fridge, but there are chocolates on the side of the bed. They have been stepped on, but they're still good to eat in the short moments when she's awake. There's tears falling lazily, unnoticeable. Her nose doesn't even wrinkle up, her skin calm and frozen under leftovers of a full face of make up from three days ago.

The statue on Sunny Hill

It's always cold on the streets of Sunny Hill, where the voice of the begging child is muted by large cars that come from all sides in an unspoken rule of chaos.
It's always lonely.
People warm up near expensive fireplaces and take their cars to work.
They don't need the sun in Sunny Hill.
The city lights they can see from marble balconies as they smoke a cigarette or two shine better in the dark, the view is breathtaking. Warm coats, cold is not an issue on Sunny Hill.
But the begging child sits alone, in corners, hoping for some food, warmth, or maybe a golden coin.

There's only cars on the cold streets, and a statue of a poor child, admiring the marble balconies of Sunny Hill.

Just add water.

I wrote a book about you, and the grey concrete that gave life to me. The dead cement, the rough surface that scratched my knees and made them bleed. The hot asphalt, glittering at the touch of sunrays that warmed my veins until blood would overflow and pour out of me like some gory scene in a horror movie only, much brighter. It gave life to me.
I wasn't born out of fertile earth or wrapped in sweet greens, I was, very much, a child of mud, sweat and dust. Tirana, this vicious parent with bullets between its teeth and a bleeding tongue.
Tirana this prison of sorts, beautiful, and charming and disturbed. My bipolar hometown, my little slice of hell. How I miss it. It gave life to me and slipped a pen between my fingers and a taboo between my legs and it told me to choose.
I do not think about taboos father, I am too careless, too temperamental for that. I am rough inside like the hot concrete that birthed and raised me.
I stare down, from a window up on the fifth floor of a pre…

I'm not holding on to the past. I'm scared of the future.

He's a wall made of flesh and skin and bones, hidden somewhere in this cold little brain of yours.
He's a wall that bleeds into your ears and slips down your throat. You are paralysed against him, the wall.
He holds up your fragile limbs and protects you from the outside world. The sun never touches your skin.
But that's ok because you don't want to know the feeling of heat and yellowness laying itself upon your naked shoulders. It is safe to only be naked within closed doors, on single beds, behind the wall.
He's an invisible wall protecting you from wanting more and it's pretty difficult you know... To let go.
Let go of safety in the shadows and reach out for more.

Down the road called 5th of May

Down the road called 5th of May I've seen the biggest outdoors market.  Green tents look like the pieces of glass I found last summer on the beach, but big, big glassy umbrellas underneath which, vendors shout prices, laugh and play loud music from their shops.  Green tents on one side of the 5th of May, underneath, colourful bags, shoes and dresses. Endless glitter, barbie dolls, cheap. Perfumes, jewellery, meatballs within a square meter of street.  250 lek for pink slippers in a stall selling mops. Something smells burnt. Meatballs. Cough. Springtime in marketplace. White buildings on the other side, don't lean against the dirt on the walls. But I want to be in the shadow! But dirt! But... the boys.  What boys?  The poor boys, dirty shorts, white vests, two bananas 50 lek. That's too much. No. It's too much.Tell them to go away. But. Cheaper.  A minivan, more mops, a donkey leans against a blue Mercedes A class. What does the donkey eat in a place without grass? Corn…

Silent hearts

You, will always be silent Zemër. Your silence keeps you safe from the world that wants to bite into your skin and drink your blood until you're dry. Your silence, Zemër, I envy so much, yet heavy, it traps you like an armour done wrong.
Zemër, you're a ship that never sails, a plane that never flies, a war that never starts. Zemër, you're the most precious, the most wanted, the most loved and loathed you are and you, you're safer when you're silent.
Zemër, you're safe in your bodysuit of fake giggles and foreign eyes that look down at your legs, because it is easy to conquer eyes like that, it is even easier to let go of eyes like that and you like letting go Zemër.
You thrive in hard work, behind a desk, typing away at words that you say have real meaning to you but you never spare a comma for what really matters Zemër. You never turn down a party Zemër, because you know, my honey, that your silence needs noise and sweat and a mean black lipstick to surviv…

Strength itself is not strong enough when faced with a dirty toilet.

I am hiding from the mess somewhere it won't find me.
The toilet is broken and the bath is yellow. The bills are wrong and you're not helping.
Our plates are piled up, dirt in the sink. A couple may be in my room, but I'm not cleaning.
I have too many clothes, you have too many moods yet, I always wear the same two tops and you always choose to sulk and suck the sunshine away. And you make more food, and you drink from a dirty mug. It hurts.
I am leaving tonight. You won't find me dancing in my room to strange music. You won't be able to laugh and talk to me. Feel free to eat the pizza on the fridge, I am leaving.
Fixing the toilet now may save you some money.
I hate mess so I'm hiding. There's nothing I can do.

I'll give it back

It's a sunny day in London. We wear matching shirts and denim. White shoelaces on black converse and golden bracelets with our names on them. It's a sunny day in London, cross legged on a bridge, I am not afraid with you by my side.
We're uncatchable, untouchable, unreachable.  You try to take a picture of me, all smiling and looking happy like ice cream with sprinkles on top and a flake but I lose my blue scarf that I loved so much. Eaten, soaked, taken by the river and we run in the wind and I will get a cold and won't be able to sleep at night.  But you're there. You'll make me a cup of tea and let me sleep in your bed, you will make a pillow out of your jacket in the small sofa in the kitchen and you will look funny sleeping there because you are so tall!  But first you'll sit with me and talk to me about your troubles and dreams until I fall asleep. Words half spoken, we still understand each other. We will engage in deep debates and forget about the c…

I read a poem

Poetry came to me when words made ugly sounds and gossip weighed me down and distorted my curly hair. Words melted me and shaped me into suffering too soon and I thought I would never look back on my childhood with a smile.
But poetry came to me and held me in its hands. Poetry sang lullabies and told me my hair was soft and brilliant like crushed velvet and my dark eyes were like two black olives of the ones that grow in the south next to the figs that coloured my hands sticky red.
Poetry came to me when I cried for the first time and it felt as if something had broken inside my eye and it would never be dry again, but poetry told me tears were precious diamonds in liquid form and one day they would light up a whole life.
Poetry fell on me like leafs from a cherry tree on a windy day in Autumn and it told me love was there, in that very moment. It told me love was beautiful and magical and pure.
Poetry, came to me too perfect, too good, too pretty. Poetry challenged me to love and be…

Things we refuse to say

A frown focused on a screen and a thin line or two appear on his forehead like little ticks of approval. His face drawn towards the unnatural coloured brightness of a word document. I want to be looked at like he looks at that screen. I want him to look at me like he looks at that screen. So into it he might just jump into the world in his thoughts.
An unusual seriousness replaces his foolish smile. Thoughts journey through his face. Oh how jealous I am. Does he know my eyes are also, journeying through his face?  A frown focused on a screen and vertigo. My heart falls over, like it's suddenly gained the same magnetic power as earth itself and earth is it's polar opposite. I can not lift myself up, I can not get detached from this new earth and I die, bit by bit.  Thoughts roll over his face. I want to know them.

Requiem in the vineyard

He left.
He took with him bottles of tears that had grown old and fine like wine and he would have not enjoyed it a glass at a time but rather bottle by bottle until he got drunk on the tears and he would have given himself a pat on the shoulder because aged tears taste so nice and he was a man of fine wine.
He would have rested his large back on a soft cushion in a hotel room and purred in pleasure as he remembered pressing people like grapes to collect those tears of different varieties and keep them for years in expensive oak barrels.
Expensive oak barrels. He was charming like that.
He was a fine wine and steak man. He would chew up steak the same way he would chew up your dreams and swallow them whole into his round belly and he would laugh and he would sleep a lot and he would press, and press, and turn you into food and wine.
He left.
Her cheeks were dry for a long time and her dreams grew big like ancient trees and she must have hoped he would never come back, but memory…

Like sunshine

You have a right to be loved my friend. You have a right to be sheltered into someone's chest and kept away from bad tongues and wild creatures.
The sun wants to kiss your skin, lovely, the sun wants to kiss your eyelids and make you feel warm inside. You have a heart like springtime, my friend. Your smile is a flower in full bloom, it has grown from damp, dark earth. Your smile is rose scented like my favourite perfume. Your sunshine smile.
You deserve love my friend.
Of the kind that wants you whole, the kind that drinks you like a glass of cold water in a hot working day. The kind that wouldn't share.
You deserve love my friend, slow, old fashioned love of the kind that takes you to dinner in a jazz bar by the beach and walks at sunrise. Love for which, the sun never sets. My dear, you deserve nothing less, than beautiful things.
The way you play with the light, sunny thing, was made to be deeply admired by eyes that are nothing less than sincere. Please, don't sto…

Broken hearts can't be sealed.

The first time you looked at me your nose blushed and your eyes became even darker.
There is a gentle light in your dark eyes and the way your smile forms shyly when you lay on your back, arm wrapped around me. Your lips barely moving but your face lights up. I'm an achievement unlocked.
The first time you looked at me you undressed me from my insecurities and we started something of a dance. One step forward, one step back. Two steps back.
My love, my love, the way you look at me when we are alone, is not everything.
The world will not let us sleep for longer than we need. My essay won't write itself, my best friend is waiting for me, you never liked each other.
The world will not let us wake up at our own pace. You have to leave before 9am and listen to a lecture on lights and angles that have nothing to do with the sparkle in your eyes.
My love, the way you want me when we are alone is not all of me.
Your friends will laugh with you about last night, they might tell yo…

...and when the night comes too dark...

I will change myself
and that is ok.

I will take the stars and put them in my eyes
and light my own path
through the night that traps me whole.

I will drink more water
and travel
to where my lungs can breathe fresh air.

I will throw away my contouring kit
and let the moonlight define my cheekbones
and my high-bridged nose.

I will write poems
about 'misfits' and 'messed ups'
and finding our way.

I will bathe my heart in sunlight
and in salty waters
I will swim further than i've ever dared before.

I will change myself
because I want to be happier.

... and that is ok.