The Structure of Tears by Ndue Ukaj; translated from Albanian by Peter Tase

My book dissolved just as a decaying leaf in autumn
In the thick mud where memories are swallowed
The soft looks that frightened the hungry birds
Together with the words of the warm summer.
That absorbed our time, the whole time
Love and the brains,
My God, they swallowed us,

The ashes of time and malicious cloud, were ruined
Became the food of a hungry stomach-day and night.
The sky was cut in half, the Earth was also cut in pieces.
And the cloud anxiously swallowed the memories of decomposed time.

While the hand of salutation remained as a flag of defeat.
In the tracks of the ship that left behind sadness.

With the sword of Damocles…my body was cut in half, the sky dissolved in oil.
The Golden Chariot flew in the blue sky, disappeared as a lightning.
Where the freezing birds sadly looking for shelter.

And from tears the buildings arouse, dancing over our heads,
As a woman with her naked breast was paying homage near the sky.
And shocked the beautiful dream that was growing as a spider
Under her feet were a crazy cat was playing
And a decayed grass was growing over her head.

From the smell of the marshes of grief, the agitation arouse,
Foolishness grew, from the burned books and frozen ashes,
Oh my God …it is absorbing our vision, times…glory
Only our memories remained depicted in the sky just as paintings of love, thrown to our heads-towards our Earth, just as a deep sorrow.
In the sack of grief over our shoulders
Today, we carry that World miserably cut in half.

Published in the October 2015 Issue

Sensing the Aroma of Myself by Ndue Ukaj; translated from Albanian by Peter Tase

She demands an answer
For the great dilemmas as big as insuperable mountains.
Sitting an open window, and looks above
Very high over “Mother Theresa’s Square
Where European and Asians walk together.

Suspension has shaken her
The same as a man shaken by a nightmare
In the dark room, with implanted identity

She looks like a portrait full of mystery
And demands the passionate response
For the daily questions:
Who am I, Me, Is it me?
Or the head’s shade falling over me
Colors, homesickness, love, longevity
And the abyss staying nearby her feet.

The window is closed, her eyes enclosed
Europeans move quietly
Through “Mother Theresa” square.

Albanians skeptical in the middle of white and black.
She enlightens the great wall of dilemmas
And sadly demands, who am I?
She cannot find herself in the century of screams,

Goes through the book of memory,
Just like going through a naked book revealed on a first look.
While escaping from herself
Hidden like the horse in a dense grass,
And meditates: Who doesn’t want to be me?

Published in the October 2015 Issue

Washing the Corpse by Rainer Maria Rilke; translated from German by Domenic Scopa

They had grown used to him. But when
the kitchen lamp began to burn,
so restless in the dark, the stranger seemed
altogether strange. They scrubbed his neck,

and since they didn’t know his fate,
they lied until they made it up−
all while washing him. One had to cough,
and while she coughed she left the vinegar sponge

dripping on his face. For a second
there was a pause. A few drops fell
from the stiff-wash brush, while his horribly
bloated hand was trying to inform the room
that he no longer thirsted.

And he proved it. With a little cough,
as if embarrassed, they began to work
more vigorously now, so that their crooked
shadows rolled and squirmed across

the patterned wallpaper as if entangled
in a net, until they finished washing.
The night in the uncurtained window-frame
was pitiless. And one without a name
lay clean and naked there, and gave commands.

Published in the September 2015 Issue.

The Foundations Have Remained Open by Alisa Velaj; translated from Albanian by Ukë ZENEL Buçpapaj


The house, which is about to collapse, belongs to you,
And the trees, which the storm fell last night,
Belonged to your yard.
Let me contour your dimensions
In another space,
Where the roof timbers are much more secure,
Where the roots have stuck
Into firm ground:
Only then I can embrace you without fearing anything…




No dusk sound
Succeeds in scratching silence.
No door creak
Succeed in foreboding anything inside me.
I hide under your chest
As if I were a seagull wounded
By roaring winds
That would drive even the fool crazy:
I am a Bohemian
Fearing I might lose things
That never belonged to me…




Your insecurity makes me lose my head,
For winds have always bended trees,
And cuckoos have always screamed on branches,
Yet leaves never translated into flocks of ravens…




Living a lonely life in glass vases.
My sleepy being
Breathing on the pillow.
‘Pinks are blood,
They are red blood,’ I say to you…

Published in the September 2015 Issue.

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