I was 4 years old when Babi showed me
Every scar of every branch of every tree in the world.
A funeral of flowers
Kissed the bodies in the bags.
Flags of red fused with flesh.
Sobs of those innocent, stolen,
Danced in the forever of a frightening wind.
Babagjyshi stood in front, behind
His home, his hands, his heart.
His face masked everything to him that was torched.

I felt guilty
For not getting shot or slaughtered, stolen,
For not freezing in the mountains,
For not remembering,
For wearing my favorite dress,
For giggling with my brother and my mother and my father and my uncles and my aunts and my
cousins and my grandmothers and my grandfathers,
For eating chocolate.
I felt guilty for having eyes.

I was 10 years old when we declared our land.
I raced a Serbian boy, an innocent race ignited.
I ran that day.
I broke records that day.
I ran so fast I didn’t even hear him say,
“Albanians deserved it”
He taught me, but I already knew,
He ran fast, but I flew.

I was 16 years old when I traveled back.
Roosters crow and mosques are punctual.
Nana is cooking, she’s cleaning, she’s sewing,
Gjyshi pounds on the pillar on the porch.
They destroyed his one home,
So he built 3 more.
Spirits are alive in Kosova,
Rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and caves
Who never forget and who still see the graves.

I was 18 years old when I fell in love
With the sun and his rays,
Who didn’t shine in 1999
When my brother’s toes froze in wet socks
Over mountains for miles but not crying once.
You are that train going nowhere.
Kosova is not Serbia, say it again and see,
Put your lies on my lips,
But the truth sings loud.
Silent babies are usually dead babies, but I am still alive.