Arbër Selmani



I am the main prostitute of this city!

I steal from the petals of every flower.

I live because they drink me, curse me and eat me.

I am the bee that bites the most painfully in hive

I am the cure, the sweetest milk in the spring

I am every torn dress, every sting, every slap that cracks

I buzz, I keep this city alive.

Through the streets, alleys, phone booths

Under the bridges, near the sidewalks

In bar kitchens, in neighborhood cafes

Beaten by night lights, in terrible settlements,

Even in the middle of the day, between cars

I put lull minds to sleep, nervous tongues,

The crown on my head, I am a monarch, I am that bird that never cries,

I swallow, I keep this city alive.

I am an observer of misery,

In university buildings, in green parks

In hot saunas, in muscle pools,

At gas stations, in toilets with enough luxury

I lose myself, I even lose the men who pay

I am part of things, actions and meetings

I delay hugs, I exclude caresses, even kisses, I hate it all

I am the most dangerous woman, with charisma that does not kill

I scream, I keep this city alive.

I hear boredom to every moonlight

Some women hate me, others envy me

I step between the legs of the poor, I let the poor enjoy me

I am the captain of morality, the first one to be called by every politician,

I am the sultan woman

I break every law, every article, every code and every norm

I break my neck, I get desperate, I get wet all over

I am the train station, a stop, a queen without a king

I poison, I keep this city alive.

I face the storms, north winds, I am surrounded by an amazing aura

I have no gender in my face, I am a man under my skin, always a useful woman

I see hell, I see heaven, I kiss who I want

In a bakery, in a hidden motel of a remote village

On the tables of theatre buffet, on the floor,

No part of my skeleton is flawed

They want to wipe me out, then we make love, I’m the craziest shark in the sea

I am steel, I keep this city alive.

I’ve opened up, and I am animated,

I am the main prostitute of this city!

Drunk I bow to those who see me as a threat,

I am the anxiety of happy men; I am a body sunk in wandering

I am a thin membrane that turns every man, every woman, every river bed

Under the waterfall, in the mud, in important administrative offices

I have rushed, like a mad mother, to every tie, to every single poor one.

The eyes of the priests see me, the eyes of poorly grown children.

Shepherds and housewives and lutenists see me,

Watchmakers see me, both blacksmiths and peasants want to enjoy me.

I don’t like my lips when they have nothing to do, without any blessing

I shake, I shiver, in red heels I keep this village alive,


Together with the city.

Arbër Selmani is a journalist and poet from Pristina, Kosovo. He has published three books: Why grandpa is sad – poems, Kosovo in 14 cultural stories, 1 and Kosovo in 14 cultural stories, 2. He has participated in numerous literature festivals in Europe, including POLIP – International Literature Festival in Pristina, LITERODROM – Literature Festival in Slovenia and the XV Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean. His poems and stories have been translated to Italian, Slovenian, German, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, and lately English for Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Zoetic Press, Ethel Zine, The Impossible Archetype, and Rhodora Magazine. His second book of poems will come out in April 2022.

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