Don't You Dare Take My Keys

First, take the brown vase / take the one close to it too, the vase with oriental motifs

Don't You Dare Take My Keys
Photo by Jaye Haych / Unsplash

by Arbër Selmani

First, take the brown vase
take the one close to it too, the vase with oriental motifs
that was shattered when our quarrels began
take the two pillows that these two empty heads once were resting there
take the dishes they gave us

on the third birthday
of our first child.
Take the iron,
you never softened your black heart black as Hitler’s moustache,
take your summer sneakers, spring sandals, dresses, glasses, jackets, underwear, intimate stuff, dolls
those two knitted paintings that we bought in Taksim
take the savings safe, where you never spared a little happiness
where you never spared neither me nor you.

Take that diploma of the Faculty of Law
the word that you made it to lose its meaning
synonyms, essence
you got them under the carpet
take it
look how you shined in every exam, in every school date
in every definition
except in defining what was going on between us
take that bullshit paper.

Also take the hallway carpet
take those excellent paintings that don’t dare to look at each other
on the left, Van Gogh’s flower
Guernica on the right
they hate each other, they want to get out of the frames and blow each other up
just like me and you.

Take the tents of our days without the Sun
take the cashmere scarves that I bought for you in Strasbourg
take the small radio, my gift to you when you got a higher job position
take all the shirts

all the colors that still do not illuminate your soul
as an expired yogurt
take the passport, even though you can’t use it
because there is no country in the world that accepts such a document
burdened with sadness

which is under the TV,
in the second shelf
empty all cupboard shelves
the cupboard I will not give it to you I bought it because I liked it too much.

Take pencils, notebooks
electricity bills, unpaid since the war ended
garbage bills,
water bills, water that never washed you for good.
Take the spices of saffron,
funny rings,
take the postcards
the deodorant that stinks like a dead dog
take everything what’s yours
everything you think it’s yours and you’ve misappropriated.

Take the metal pieces with which you think you are apologizing
go to the room, take the lamp we bought together,
on the fourth day when we moved in together
living gloomy together
the crushed union of two lives,
take every book I read

Take this TV too
which became a silent witness, the deaf and dumb of the house
of our quarrels
take all your fears for divorce
take the cookies I humbly prepared for you this morning,
take the old license plate of the obsolete car
take the table
take every incomplete crossword puzzle
take the daily press
take the pornographic magazines under household furniture
take the razors
which unsuccessfully proved purity of that body of yours.

Take your photos from the family album
take the rotten lipstick.

The keys, don’t even dare,
don’t take them,
and leave.

Arbër Selmani is a journalist and poet from Kosovo. He has published four books and has participated in several literature festivals in Europe, naming POLIP – International Literature Festival in Pristina, LITERODROM – Literature Festival in Slovenia and the XV Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and Mediterranean in Rome and Thessaloniki. He won the first prize at Tirana Gate Literature Festival in 2021. His poems and stories have been translated to Italian, Greek, Slovenian, German, Serbo-Croatian, French and lately in English for Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Zoetic Press, Ethel Zine, FU Berlin Review, The Impossible Archetype, Rhodora Magazine, York Literary Review 2022 and Changes Press.