Translated from the Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

To emigrate from yourself in a season of oblivion is to become less worth than a dry leaf.
The singers participating in the Festival of Twitters wink at me heartily.
Their cyclic cycle starts and ends with Them themselves.

This is a reprint of work originally published in A Gospel of Light.

Alisa Velaj was shortlisted for the annual international erbacce-prize for poetry in June 2014. She was also shortlisted for Aquillrelle Publishing Contest 3 in January 2015 and was the first runner-up in this contest. Velaj’s full-length book of poetry A Gospel of Light was published by Aquillrellle in June 2015.

Velaj was born in the southern port town of Vlora, Albania, in 1982. She studied Albanian Language and Literature at the University of Tirana and earned an MA in Literature under the writer Mitrush Kuteli. Velaj now teaches Literature at the University of Durres. She is the author of two verse collections: Themelet e eres (Foundations of the wind) and Drejt ajrit (To air). Her work has appeared in a number of print and online international magazines, including Blue Lyra Review, OneTitle Reviews, The Cannon’s Mouth (UK), The Missing Slate (UK), The Midnight Diner (USA), Poetica Magazine (USA), Time of Singing (USA), Canto (USA), Enhance (USA), Ann Arbor Review (USA), The French Literary Review (UK), SpeedPoets (Australia), Lummox #3 (USA), erbacce (UK), fourW twenty-five (Booranga Writers’ Centre, Australia), Poetry Super Highway (USA), KNOT Magazine (USA), The Otter (USA), The Journal (UK), Phenomenal Literature (New Delhi, India), The Brighter Light Poetry Anthology (Canada), The Atherton Review (USA), Immagine & Poesia, Vol. 2 (Canada), Section 8 Magazine (USA), 111O (Belgium), WritingRaw (USA), Three and a half point 9 (UK), and in an anthology by Mago Books (USA). She also has work in forthcoming issues of The Dallas Review (USA), Poetica Magazine (USA), LangLit: An International Peer-reviewed Open Access Journal (India), Lummox #4 (USA), and in two forthcoming issues of The Linnet’s Wings (UK).

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