I forget

 Sometimes, I forget how to speak.

I forget the sound of my voice
and the clicking of my tongue;
I forget to breathe when I laugh 
and breath forgets me when I weep.

I forget that there are words to say
and I forget the words unsaid,
I forget the names of my friends,
and I forget that they have forgotten long ago.

I forget the things you have said
and I forget that you hate repeating yourself,
I forget that you loved me
and I forget that you forgot to tell me so.

Sometimes, I forget how to speak.

I have shed this skin of mine too often,
in order to forget the pain;
but I remember,
how difficult it is to forget.

Jehona Thaqi© [sunset in Zurich; Quai-bridge]

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If

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If I could teach my tongue
new languages and new words,
or new stories to tell,
maybe poems or songs,
or something quite different
of which the world has never heared,
I would teach my tongue
the most wonderful of all.

It would make hearts shiver
and eyes glare
and ears listen carefully to its sound and melody.
Heads would turn
from as far as sight can reach
and souls would find ease
at its first note.

If I could teach my tongue
a very new language
it would be the one I have always envied,
the one I have dreamed of,
as madly as a woman can dream,
it would be the language of silence,
for the reasons are clear.

How often have I talked
and written and composed
and sung
the most beautiful words that came to my mind,
until they became dull and lifeless
and somehow unreal.
If I could teach my tongue
a new language
I would tell you all the things
my words were incapable of.

Jehona Thaqi©

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

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

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

Oblivious

I was oblivious of life;
for too many heart-breaks had marked my body,
and I speak of the heart-breaks of a woman; a warrior,
who protected her soul with silence
but whose silence has been broken by understanding
that a woman’s tongue will not be tied to the dreams of men.

I was oblivious of happiness,
for too many tears had drowned my laughter,
the tears of a losing warrior,
but war will not be over unless this soul flees my body,
and even then, when I rest underneath the earth,
I will leave the tomb as dust 
and remind you of the power a woman carries within;
a woman who has been opressed
but never silenced.

I was oblivious of my strength,
the strenght of a woman;
I was a prisoner to my fears,
but today I will destroy the chains tied among my soul,
I will be free,
and concious of everything I have.

Jehona Thaqi©

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©

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©