Ani Gjika

December 14, 2015 Gjika Ani



He was a tall man on the edge of the couch
with a cigarette on his fingers,
eyes and mind thrown several mountains
out the balcony.

He was the distance
the life of that smoke
before dissolving in the room

and weather
outside the window
quickly changing: spring,
summer, autumn, wind, wind, wind.

His tapping shoes calmed the whole world
and when we walked the city
he held my little girl hand
tickling my wrist with his little finger

as though trying to remind me
a long, long time into the future
that I had a grandfather
who was not rich

who didn’t have a house, or car
and couldn’t take me to much at all
but he took me around the city
and his hand wrote the streets inside me.

Ani Gjika is an Albanian-born writer, a literary translator, and the author of Bread on Running Waters (2013), a finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize and May Sarton New Hampshire Book Prize.