Fall Issue 2022
Ardita Jatru translated from Albanian
by Laureta Petoshati
The most villified woman in out neighborhood
The most vilified woman in our neighborhood was Eli.
She was raised in an orphanage.
We all knew, but we hadn’t seen
Eli circulating nude at home
without panties at all,
and ward boys guarded every evening
on the terrace of the opposite block
to see Eli without her panties through windows
with that beautiful thing bared
and her jutted out breasts as fresh apples.
One day, someone had written on her door,
"Eli, I want to fuck you"
There yelled Camille, Lilly and Jia.
They took rags, swept off and scoured Eli’s door
Shameful, what the kids would read.
O Lord, what woman they had in their palace
and they closed within a few hours their husbands.
And there was a day
that Eli went abroad forever
and there sprung a great tranquility.
Finally, the mothers of boys got rid of her
The whore went away, they said, that's it.
On the terrace of the opposite block
remained some small footprints
and boyish craving waiting for Eli
to appear naked as before
with that beautiful and bared thing.
One day we will get on the train
we will get on the train
We will sit silently inside windows
in drawn faces and aging bodies
and will wait whistle arrival at the station and
then detrain out of sight
and move to a place with soft soil
we will find a small house as a body
and lie down
and our heads throughout on a pillow of stone,
with empty pockets.
At that moment will fly over the open roof
a flock of dreams in colors that we did not apprehend.
We will lengthen our eyesight,
but we will feel like a weak plant
with curved body
that is ready to be surrender to the land.
People who didn't love me
Yesterday I raised over the roof a white flag.
I'm in peace with you
that for a reason you didn’t love me
and now I love you more.
You came to me coated with masks
and in front of me you have been naked,
like little kids
and I saw you in tight squeeze as far as a hand
you cried a river with resounding,
and I kept your pain on the palm of my hand.
You fled coated again with masks
and I never betrayed you.
who unwittingly professed me about human nature!
Now you are even with me,
You damned hypocrites!
I didn’t love my loneliness so much before.
I'm going to sleep
I'm going to sleep.
Some peace, please.
I need to sense how the night breathes
and my soul slips along the stairs
and my body becomes snippy
and my knocked to pieces body I put in the bed.
Then I cover my body with two meters sighs.
Poor tired me,
is gone even this day and didn’t says something to you.
Is gone without a beautiful voice like a joke.
I beg you for some peace, please.
I go to sleep,
because tomorrow unwillingly
I will again run up against the gods.
You run away
You run away
and take everything with you.
All my beauties go up after you
and leave me a blob of breath
and some cloudlets on my head gloomily
some ethereal naps in midday
that break me off and I can’t hold myself on.
I have three sleepless nights.
You run away and I presume everything
how many steps away are you now
from the front door
and what weather is expecting you there.
I curse myself to be eyeless
because I had my eye on you
then it destroyed your peace
under the mess that I have inside of my head.
The nights that bed doesn't fit me in
There are some nights
that bed doesn’t fit me in,
some sleepless nights with heavy cushions,
some headachy nights by my thoughts
and I stare at one ceiling point
and I vent.
Then I stand up like crazy,
I go upstairs
onto the roof.
What universal peace!
here I feel a wise god of loneliness.
Near the morning
I go downstairs carefully,
with folded arms
and I go in bed by holding my breath
because I don’t want to wake you up
I turn off the lights of the eyes,
close the mouth’s doors
and I don’t let you know
where I've been all night
sometimes when the bed didn’t fit me in.
Ardita Jatru is an Albanian poet. She was born in 1972 Tirane, Albania. Her passions include photography, writing, traveling and time with family and friends. Her poems have been published in these magazines: Duane’s PoeTree (USA), Dead Snake (Canada), Poetix (Greece) Poiein (Greece), Maison de la Poesie, Anthology (Belgium), Le capital des most (France), Haemus Review (Romania) and Les Folies- Erotique- (France). She lives with her husband and two daughters in Thessaloniki, Greece . Her poems are translated in English by Laureta Petoshati
Laureta Petoshati is an Albanian poet, prose writer and translator. She attended Faculty of Engineering in University of Tirana for about five years and received a Master Degree in Civil Engineering in 1987. Then she frequented postgraduate courses in foreign languages and worked in Vlora court as official translator. Nowadays she is committed to translations, literature and journalism. She published her poetry collection Goddess of Heaven in 1996 and her historical novel Return to Ventotene in 2012. She continues to publish her poetry cycles in many national and international newspapers such Albanian American newspaper - "Illyria" in New York, or Knot Magazine,recently has published in WritingRow Assorted the essay Some Reflections about the Poem "Visit" of Zvika Szternfeld.
As a poet she is a winner of one competition which took place in her hometown Vlora and as a translator she has won two national competitions and some of poems written by Alisa Velaj and translated by Laureta Petoshati are published in Section & Magazine, The Dallas Review and Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. Other translations of Velaj’s poems will appear in the forthcoming issues of Of/with Journal, Harbinger Asylum ,The Seventh Quarry and Poetry Scotland (UK).