Because I live in Kosovo
when I speak my first language,
You tell me not to.
Žašto? — Why?
“Well, because we live in Kosovo”
That’s what you say.
“Nemoj, mos, don’t!”
STOP, ti mu pom tregon veq me fol shqip
But the sad part is that I can speak 2 more languages.
It’s hard to be myself when everyone is trying to make me someone else. I’m not saying that you all are the same,
Not saying that you are all bad.
I’m saying that just one of you can make a big change.
You just know my language,
Nothing about me.
Is it because of others who warned you about us and how you should hate based on the history?
The history happened,
I didn’t do anything wrong.
I’m just a kid,
Speaking my mother tongue,
So why does it hurt your ear so much?
We are ALL the future.
I don’t want to teach anyone to hate.
Oh, I’m tired.
I want this to end.
Each letter, each word and each language has shades of colors which are so unique.
I’m sorry again, but I can’t explain them
‘Cause you have to feel them…
Why can’t I say to the world what I mean, think and see?
Is it just me or people are sad?
Is it just me or everyone’s mad?
We are breathing but not living,
We are in bed but not sleeping,
Our eyes are open but we aren’t seeing.
We need to wake up!
We are all made of red blood, muscles and dreams.
My voice is shaking,
My heart is beating loud.
I need you to hear this, I want to make my country proud.
We have 6 stars on the flag,
Let’s just wrap our wing one to another,
Let’s make a wonder!
I believe in equality, not in their lies.
Equality is not a simple word that messes with your mind.
Maybe you think language is just a barrier,
But you are wrong.
It’s a bridge that connects us all.
Yes, I hate;
But not you, you or you.
I hate that we pretend we are blind to the things we want to hide.
Yes, I love your language,
So why can’t I be one of you?
One of your friends,
One of your mates,
But I’m always a “she” with no name.
This poem was performed by the author at the Kosovo Slam Poetry Festival, organized by alumni from the YES youth exchange and study program, and has been published here with permission. The annual festival aims to be a space for young people in Kosovo to express their struggles and social issues through their original verses.
Feature image: Majlinda Hoxha / K2.0.