The Regulations at the Catholic School for Girls
(Rregullat e Shkollës Katolike të Vajzave)
The fine fragrance of writing hovered in
One could hear the arid crackle of mice munching biscuits,
Yet, it was a weary winter
That found them unprepared,
My majestic lovers.
All day long they aged in the classroom,
Salting their tender bowels
With talk of love. Vanished and
Forgotten was that distant day in April...
My chance appearance in the library
Came, it seemed, to a sad conclusion.
And in the end, the snow blasted and blew in all directions,
Every day a new storm.
They woke and rose, those wretched maidens,
With time unmoved in their beds.
I spread word of a distant age,
Where was I at that moment of crisis
When the dreams of my lovers
Turned tiresome and troubled?
Misfortune pelted like a hailstorm,
They found me nailed to my bed
In the most obscure of military hospitals in that town.
Now it was too late,
With poisoned milk in their breasts
They told me their tales in haste
And they cursed any future joy I might have,
Making tiny crosses on the cards
With their faded fingers. According
To my lovers (though pale their faces)
I would never be able to leave the hospital,
And yet, I did,
And found them blithe and all with child.
I saw their bellies like fresh tombs
From which wafted a fine fragrance of writing
And rustled to no avail
The licit sound of mice
With dry biscuits in the grass.