Tulip

image

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

Black, bitter coffee

Black, bitter coffee on a sunday morning,
or was it monday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit silently in the corner of our living room,
my spine curled and pressed against the wall;
so much space upon the couch we bought,
but I am afraid of not being able to fill the spaces you have left empty.

Black, bitter coffe on a friday night,
or was it saturday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I weep into the freshly washed cussions of our bed,
they smell like lilies and honey,
they smell nothing like you, for I have washed them too many times since the last time you visited,
your scent has vanished out of this house,
yet it is present in everything I touch.

Black, bitter coffee on a wednesday afternoon,
or was it tuesday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit at our dining table and read about wars far from home,
I read of homes destroyed, and people buried underneath them,
I cry;
you used to say that there are people dying, 
when I told you that I could not breathe at night, you said that I am fine,
when the lights turned off and my body was shaking in agony of losing the war against my mind, you said that I am egoistic;
I feel the guilt within my tears drown the last hope of winning the wars within me,
I can see people dying, somewhere far,
yet so close.

Black, bitter coffee;
I drink to stay awake,
for the nights scare me,
and there are dreams lurking in the corners of this house,
dreams I do not want to have,
for my dreams have been shattered too many times.

Black, bitter coffee;
I do not sleep anymore
and I have forgotten the days,
just as the days have forgotten me.

Jehona Thaqi©

Wine

I sit alone, lonely,
the evening breeze dancing around my thighs, underneath the dress you loved on me,
flickering candles caressing my pale skin,
empty glasses of wine on empty tables.

I sit alone, lonely,
and I watch the city fall asleep on this sunday evening,
I watch lovers kiss goodbye
and broken hearts run home to their mothers;
for there is nothing a mother can not fix,
but I wonder why it had to be broken in the first place.

I sit alone, lonely,
the waiter kindly reminds me that they are closing,
I nodd, hanging onto my glass of wine,
almost empty,
but still there;
you see, I hang onto the sweet taste of love
and the bitterness which hides underneath your eyelids;
I remember your words, vividly,
and the way your fingertips danced upon my thighs
and the dazzling light of our veranda flickered upon my skin.

I sit alone, lonely,
the last sip of wine;
I see the blurred picture of you,
reaching for me, now.

Empty glass of wine,
but your lips against mine;

a familiar taste.

Jehona Thaqi©

An open letter

I sit silently upon our bed
the clock ticking  in the corner of our room,
birds twittering to the melody of a late summer evening
and while the last sunrays enter our small house
I think of your soft hands and mellow lips;
I think of how you used to hold my jaw
as if it was the greatest you have ever held.

Time passes; the clock still ticking,
until its sound diminishes within the blurred pictures of my mind,
skies turn grey and birds fall silent
and I sit there, dry eyes and empty heart,
I sit in order to remember
how you said love would never be forgotten
and how quickly you forgot to call it love.

Sometimes I do not know why I write letters to you
again and again,
unread stories and untold secrets,
floating within the space of your fingers and my desk.

Maybe one day you will have the time to read
what has taken me too long to witness.

Jehona Thaqi©

Mother – Nënë

Mother,

dear mother,

I have intended to write about you more than once,

but I did not know where to start

or where to finish,

for there are no words to describe the magic within your soul,

mother.

You held me close

to the body which ached and shivered,

but nothing felt like home unless it was within your arms; 

it was your love that saved me from pain,

mother,

your hands that healed the scars underneath my skin.

I am sorry mother,

for I have drowned your cheeks with tears too many times,

your soft, porcelain skin and sad eyes;

a doll, like within Kadare’s novel,

utterly beautiful, yet somehow unreal.

Mother,

I could write page after page,

but I have yet not found the right metaphor which comes close to your soul,

so I will hold you, tonight;

dear mother,

and I will tell you

that you are the roots of my happiness;

no matter how far I will go,

you are within my very soul.

***

Nënë,

e dashura nënë,

sa shpesh deshta të shkruaj për ty,

por nuk dija nga ku të  filloj 

ose ku të mbaroj,

sepse nuk ka fjalë të mjaftueshme për ta spjeguar magjinë brenda shpirtit tënd,

nënë.

Më ke mbajtur afer trupit

i cili ishte i permbushur me dhimbje 

por askund nuk u ndjeva në shtëpi, pos në krahet e tua;

ishte dashurija jote e cila me shpëtoj nga dhimbja,

nënë,

duart e tua i sheruan plaget nën lekuren time.

Më fal, nënë,

qe i permbusha faqet e tua me lot;

atë ftyren tënde te butë, lëkurën tënde të bardhë, sytë e tu të merzitur;

kukull, si e pershkruante Kadareja në librin e ti,

një bukuri jashtëtoksore.

Nënë,

mundem të shkruaj pafundsisht për ty,

por ende nuk e kam gjetur metaforën e duhur për ta përshkruar shpirtin tënd;

sonte do të mbaj pran,

e dashura nënë,

dhe do të tregoj

që ti je rrënja e lumturisë sime,

dhe nese jam larg teje,

ti gjëndesh brënda shpirtit tim.

Jehona Thaqi©

Privileged tears

The weather has been good, lately,
you say,
while the shy sun enters our home,
frankly, the weather has been good,
but so have we, for the last few years,
and I say years,
for I do not remember the last tear you have shed.

You leave for work,
kissing me goodbye, like within the movies, swiftly, yet lovely,
and I watch you leave as the sun rises,
until you disappear within the bright light of this morning.

The weather has been good, lately,
I think,
while washing the dishes,
and so have we, for the last few years,
yes, years,
for I do not remember the last time you cried.

Tears fall down the sink,
I like to call them my privileged tears;
the weather has been good, lately,
and there is nothing to worry about,
we have been good, too,
for you have not cried in years,
and I have neither,
only on mornings that shone too brightly
against the façade of our home.

Jehona Thaqi©

This is no love poem

This is no love poem;
I wrote this
to remind myself that this heart of mine
has not been aching since forever,
to remind myself that your leaving
has not taken love along its side.

How often you have told me
that I was too young to love as much as I pretended
and how long I tried to convince you
that the older I got, the less I could remember the taste of sweetness upon your lips,
the less I remembered the fear of losing
and the fear of forever.

You see; today I woke up
drenched in dreams of things that never were mine;
hollow heart and no thoughts at all,
as if all we had lived through had been merely dreams.

Some people abuse drugs,
I abused love;
so much so that I became addicted to your recognition,
I craved your arms;
first only at night,
then every second of my days.

If only I had been weak enough to give up,
maybe I’d be lying next to other rotting bodies;
to addicts of all-kinds,
until the sickness of love had reduced my bones to dust.

This is no love poem,
but I wish it was.

Jehona Thaqi© (selfportrait)

Ribeira

I wonder how many names you had to forget

in order to remember your own,

dear friend;

for you were a masterpiece to this world,

as colorful and historic as the buildings of Porto’s ribeira;

yet broken, for I could see the cracks upon walls

and dying lightbulbs underneath blank ceilings.

I wonder how many heartbreaks you had to live through

in order to love yourself first,

for you thought your heart could hold all of them,

like within this part of the city;

too many temporary visitors dancing through its streets, leaving nothing but footprints behind

and too few lovers who stay to renovate the abandoned homes.

I believe

that your heart is more than a port for desire;

dear friend.

Jehona Thaqi©

If I should die

If I should die
bury me in a field of nothingness,
where flowers do not bloom
and the earth is dry.

If I should die
do not cry,
for death is nothing but part of this life.

If I should die
tell my mother I loved her
and my father, too,
tell my brother I loved him
beyond all the greatness of this world.

If I should die
tell yourself
that you were all I ever wished for.

If I should die
forgive me for my wrongs,
I had the dreams of a child
but dreams last only until they’re shattered,
broken,
forgotten like the dead.

If I should die
forget.

Forget that I lived for your love
and that you filled my lungs with air,
forget the sound of my voice
at night; when I said hold me, but you were too far,
forget my writings, all of them,
for I signed everything with your name,
forget the tears I cried
and the memories you broke.

But remember to visit me,
once
after ten years,
and see how I turned nothingness into everything you have ever dreamed of,
see how there are flowers sprouting out of my grave,
and witness how your tongue falls silent for the first time in your life.

Remember
that you can bury not only dead bodies,
but dead souls, too.

Jehona Thaqi©