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Before the storm

Your dress, it’s pink with roses in it.
It reminds me of the pink posters on the road to Tirana,
when I had a good laughter dancing in the main street,
6 AM run; down the lake road with Anna.

The coffee in Chéri ,
when we skipped a lesson or two…
Physics, made me feel numb
so I bunked it, together with you.

Then midnight cocktails in the Old Block clubs,
a hot colored top and ripped short jeans.
We gave up on heels for sequined flip flops,
a Mojito, a dance, and dreams

On the beach on a summer weekend
playing volley till the sun goes down…
Then to bars listening to some old fashioned band.
The waves caught us dancing, underneath stars.

The dress, the beach and the music of the old band
as we come out of the sea when the sunset burns red,
dark waves of hair play with the wind and sand,
the warm, salt-smelling air playing with my head.

Recent posts

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…


There were holes in my underwear. I could relate to it so I never liked buying new ones.
Back then I could relate to just about any broken thing, a stick in the jaws of a strong dog, a vase... urgghhh the sound of breaking glass makes me cry. It always has, it's like an automatic response, tears just start crawling down me.
Sometimes I would break things on purpose just to make me cry, that's why you will find in my old home a cabinet full of glasses with no match. The few that didn't break.
I find it hard to break on my own. A hug and I can cry to fill a river but when I'm alone, I don't cry. When I was a child I had to learn how to cry. I never internalised it. Screaming, that came naturally. Punching a wall, that hurt a little bit.
Crawling, I did that a lot, I would crawl through my anger until the feeling of hopelessness and guilt and something more earthly and immediate mixed with it, went away. The feeling would go and the stinging would come pouring upwards…

Comfort of friendships past

His eyes remind me of the dirty waters of a river that crosses Tirana's city centre. A calm, small river, it's water muddy, honey brown and liquid like his eyes. Small, strong eyes that look at me the way my grandfather, a history addict, looks at old books. His hands are chunky and his grip is strong like those of workers back home. His heart, pure, blooming, in love.  I only feel comfort when my fingertips touch the nape of his neck and his heavy eyelids fall gently and he smiles. He is home.  He is the safe garden where children that are yet to come play joyfully with water guns and sing nursery rhymes. He is the perfect cup of tea, the heat of a cozy water bottle. He is comfort. He is a no fear zone, no worries, no jealousy, no delusions. He is the one, who will always be there.  But I, will not settle my dreams into this home, so comforting and lazy. I will not settle my goals into simplicity and love and children, I am unable. I feed on feelings awful and sharp like the …

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…