Tulip

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Tulips grow out of my skin
with roots tangling around this body I once called prison.
To this day, whenever I despise my beating heart,
I remind myself that flowers grow within the cracks of my skin,
inbetween dark and hollow spots,
where once was nothing but grief.
I remind myself that bleeding is healing
and that the tears I cried have been the cleaning rain for my soul.
I remind myself that tulips do not grow
without the cold breeze of winter;
and so do I.
For I have been growing out of pain,
and I will survive each winter to bloom again.

Jehona Thaqi© you will not destroy me

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Sacred land

Sacred land;

where honey flows in rivers

and milk drips from trees, nourishing the earth with motherly love;

a land of dreams hidden underneath God’s veil,

where the wind brings peace

and where flowers sprout from deserts.

*

Women glaring at their trembling feet,

voices shivering, voices lost;

I haven’t heard my own voice in weeks

for my words have meant nothing;

soft skin, soft hearts,

bruised, but not aching anymore.

*

Men staring at our faces,

or underneath our skin;

for clothes do nothing but try to hide the flesh from hungry eyes;

harsh voices, harsh tongues,

its sound echoing throughout our shivering bodies,

invading more than our privacy.

*

Sacred land,

we are still fighting,
silently;

for what has always belonged to us.

Jehona Thaqi© our bodies, our decisions

When love leaves

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When love leaves
at the beginning of everything,
leaves you
at the beginning of endless pain;
it seems it leaves
before the end,
as the end shall never come.

When love leaves
with all you ever had
and leaves the memory
of all you have been;
it seems it leaves
before the end,
as the end shall never come.

When love leaves,
please leave too.
Go home, to your roots,
for love will leave before the end,
as it knows no end at all.
Love will leave,
and you will shrink,
but how soon you will grow
before you know;
as love leaves before the end,
and it knows no end at all.

When love leaves
you broken
and withered
and crooked
and small,
then leave, too.
Remember that you are the first love of all.

Remember
to go home
to yourself.

Jehona Thaqi© you are your greatest strength

Shame

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Women,
eyes fixed upon the ground,
tongues tied, mouths shut,
restless in their spirits, yet noiseless to the world.

Women,
obliged to feel shame at any occasion in their lives,
as if it was part of their very existence.

Men,
loud voices, unfiltered speech,
everything so cruel, so raw,
their eyes never lowered,
too proud, too powerful.

Men
who never felt shame upon their own skin
but burned women with oppression.

How shameless.

Jehona Thaqi© A poem inspired by Salman Rushdie’s novel ‘Shame’. “Between shame and shamelessness lies the axis upon which we turn; meteorological conditions at both these poles are of the most extreme, ferocious type. Shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.”

Only a woman

You thought I was only a woman,

but you forgot the strength

that flows through my veins and rushes throughout my body,

with bones of steel and healing skin,

for scars tend to grow stronger each time you cut

through women like me;

merely women –

whose strength you tought you had buried 

with breaking their souls.

You thought I was only a woman,

but you forgot whose hands have raised you

and whose love has nourished the seeds of the man you are today;

do you remember who held you

when your soul ached and your voice shivered,

she, too, is a woman,

who you considered less

the more she gave to you.

You thought I was only a woman,

but you forgot that I am a raging sea,

calm – just before the storm arrives;

but powerful and unapologetic when it comes to being

only

a woman.

Jehona Thaqi© [my drawing of the albanian singer Era Istrefi; https://www.instagram.com/strefie/ ]

Tonight

Tonight

I can feel the loss within my heart grow;

emptiness tangling its roots around my bones,

sadness settling inbetween my mouth and eyes,

making it hard to talk

and even harder to cry;

my body a war-field of lost soldiers, trying to protect

the ruins of the saint heart a woman carries within.

Tonight

I have lost my words,

or was it my tongue, I do not know,

and in agony of losing myself 

I have lost the parts of me I loved;

it is said that beauty lies within the eyes of the beholder,

but what beauty is there

in dying hearts and tongue-tied women.

Tonight

I have become the woman you desired;

dear friend,

I have lost my words, or tongue,

or maybe both

and with them the strength of my bones,

I have lost wars within my mind

and I have opened the doors of my soul to the dark emptiness

that will sooner or later conquer

the remaining ruins of this body.

Tonight

I have lost,

and I am losing;

I have become

and I am becoming;

woman enough,

inhuman.

Jehona© I am sorry

Someone

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She needed someone
to hold her small body
all crawled up
in the corner of her room;
the cold floor
pressed against her soft skin,
in this temporary life,
she needed to be promised eternity.

She needed someone
to hold her hands
while she held tight to the cigarette;
and in agony of breaking it,
she pressed it against her cherry lips,
inhaled the pain
and exhaled her dull memories
of being nothing
but toxic.

She needed someone
to kiss her scars and blisters,
for she was told that time will pass
and will make her forget,
but she remembered all the promises
which have never been held;
time made scars fade
but the memories remained
crammed inside her heart.

She needed someone
to make her forget the mess she was;
but she held herself
and like a broken warrior she fought
wars within her mind.

Jehona Thaqi©

Reflection

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She sat quietly at her favorite café
her hands pressed against each other,
and her dark eyes glaring at the streets,
so sad yet somehow curious,
so full of life, but packed with bags of forgotten dreams.
On this rainy day, with skies turning gray
and umbrellas dancing around the streets,
she sat there,
as if it was everything within her life of
nothing-ever-happens’ and
it-is-all-fine-thank-you’s;
her reflection in the window staring at her pale skin
and dark eyes.

Pale skin and dark eyes,
lips as small and fragile as the wings of a butterfly;
lips that forgot how to speak
since the day you told her it did not matter;
she was not beautiful,
considering the weight on her bones
and the scars on her skin,
and her small, fragile lips.

Her white cheeks drowned in tears of
do-not-forget-me’s and
please-listen-to-my-words,
but she sat quietly at her favorite café,
her face still mellow and soft,
and eyes;
oh her eyes,
as dark as the pain within her heart
and as wide as the love she has given.

Pale skin and dark eyes
and lips that forgot how to speak.
Her reflection,
broken.

Jehona Thaqi©

I am sorry

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I am sorry dearest,
for not enough words,
or too many of them.

I am sorry I burned your heart
while spitting fire with my sharp speech
you seemed so calm,
until you, too, eventually caught fire.

I am sorry for not being woman enough to stay silent,
for crying aloud and seeking help,
for talking about my pain,
for speaking and speaking and speaking.

I am sorry for the lies, my dear,
I am sorry I blamed insomnia for the sleepless nights,
and hormones for eating at two o’clock in the morning,
while it was all me.

I am sorry I am not much of a woman,
or the woman you thought I’d be.
Quiet and lovely and soft as a sheep.
I am sorry I am not much of a woman,
and less of a man, and nothing inbetween.

But, oh darling, if you only knew
the silence of my heart and mind,
when I lay my head upon your chest.

You’d know how much of a human I am.

Jehona Thaqi©