Pillow Talk, Tirana (Well, Don’t Make Me Beg)

Tirana, I want to lay
my head on your naked chest,
one ear to the heartbeat, hear
the ragged breath,
1000 cars wheezing,
careening,
screaming—
a cough
like smoking meat.

Can we lay like that?—
in the morning,
between the mountains,
sun through no curtain,
this bedroom of a city
and everything that contains us—

You cut a river
through the middle,
build your bridges
likes slits across wrists—
Stare at the soggy trash
they’ve thrown there and say
“It’s a real river in the winter.”

Tell me how you’re better
at 4am,
when the wheezing unrattles itself
and the city falls silent,
each dog a lonesome bark
and we climb to the top
of that tattooed pyramid
and look at it all,
laid out there
blinking
naked
smoldering trash

and the police will chase us up
and cough at the top,
place their hands on their knees,
ask for our documents
and I’ll be too scared—you’ll laugh:
“You were scared, scared.”

Tirana, I want this:
your bone
against my ear,
hearing your organs groan,
black breath rattle
between those mountains,
your breastplate—

where you keep it,
you keep it.

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3 Responses to “Pillow Talk, Tirana (Well, Don’t Make Me Beg)”


  1. 1 Richard November 1, 2011 at 4:50 am

    I love this so much. Smiling ear to ear after reading it 🙂

  2. 2 Oreo November 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    LOL, I’m Albanian and I just ran across your blog for the first time. I think you’ve got guts for travelling independently; I know the language and I still wouldn’t wanna to Albania alone!

    • 3 laurenquinn November 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Really?! Albania is one of the best countries I’ve traveled in. So safe, and people are hella friendly.


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Lauren Quinn is a writer and traveler currently living in Hanoi. Lonely Girl Travels was a blog of her sola travels and expat living from 2009 to 2012. She resides elsewhere on the internet now.

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