Poetry by Alisa Velaj



To love means to first be familiar with fog.

More often than not, a woman is an immense forest

submerged in all sorts of silences,

which you’d have to decode like fog-covered landscapes.

To be able, mornings, to see through that smokescreen

how the unknown, bit by bit, clears out in your front.


You might have danced with that woman all evening,

or, overnight, been her best male partner in bed;

yet, nothing will assure you how deep her love runs,

if you lack the skills to see beyond fog…


Nothing else but that depth nourishes,

all at the same time,

shooting stars and cosmic heavens,

fir trees with no pangs of despair,

other trees in full foliage or widow-fated,

birds that seductively sing to sin.


There and there alone you will see

everything clearing out, all at the same time.

No more formidable synchrony anywhere else!


And, once you get used to such observing,

once you fall in love with such a kind of clarity,

that silent immense forest will make you, my friend,

feel at home with being a male and a Man!


January 15, 2019


Translated into English by Arben Latifi.

Alisa Velaj was born in 1982 in Albania. She has been shortlisted for the Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in 2014. Her works have appeared in more than eighty print and online international magazines. Her poetry collection, With No Sweat At All, will be published by Cervana Barva Press in 2019.





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