The Bistrica River

Santian Vataj

The Bistrica River makes its way
through innumerable Albanian villages.
And once you see it, it never leaves you.

The Bistrica River has by now reached
America, reached the Bronx.
It shops at cheap supermarkets with my father.
It overwhelms the brain like cognac.
It made it as far as San Francisco once
but only for a week.

The Bistrica River can now be heard
flowing past offices where there are better things to do,
it has trickled into Manhattan urinals.
For those of us who have seen it,
The mighty Bistrica will follow us to the grave,
Where it will dissipate below our bones.