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Poem by Ismail Kadare

A girl!
He kissed you without love
He hurt your spirit badly
Bloody lips from your lipstick,
Like a killer he turned an alley

Proud to “lay hands on you”
He told your name to his friends
Over a beer, they talked of you
In the green parks on weekends.

And you remained, in emptiness
In the absurdity of nightingale nights.
Like an empty square where it happened
A traffic jam with catastrophic sights…

Now, as you walk down Dibra Street
They accompany you with open eyes
One just elbows one of his fellows
“Do you see her? She was his, once…”

You hang your head, hurry your pace
To reach a girl, a friend, the sooner
Just to repeat the standard words:
“Ah, every boy is just a ruiner.”


Then you both sit in front of the radio
Lighting a cigar so quietly
Over her shoulder during the news
You’ll take a nap immediately,

Dream will take you to another road
Wider and newer and much fair.
Among the people in a large factory
At your nice legs, no one will stare

There you will walk among the crowds.
You may mingle with the boys by tens.
Someone will elbow his own fellow:
“Do you see her? We used to be friends…”

Translation from Albanian into English
By Alfred Kola


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