Friday, May 10

Inspired: Warsan Shire

How far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
how often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
where did it begin?
what went wrong?
and who made you feel so worthless?
if they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
all this time, you were begging for love silently; thinking they couldn’t hear you,
but they smelt it on you.
you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin.
and what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it?
how are you both of these women, both flighty and needful?
where did you learn this, to want what does not want you? 
where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?

  Warsan Shire

You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you want anything but you
you dizzy him,
you are unbearable every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that a
and if he wants to leave then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.”

  Warsan Shire

Why do you live in your body
like you will be given another?
As if it were temporary.
You starve it,
you let anyone touch it,
you berate it.
Tell it that it should be completely different.
You tug at your soft flesh,
wish it thinner,
wish it gone.
You fell in love with those
who praise the way it sighs
under their hands,
but who praises the way
it holds up your weight,
even when you are falling apart?

  Warsan Shire

You want me to be a tragic backdrop so that you can appear to be illuminated, so that people can say ‘wow, isn’t she so terribly brave to love a man who is so obviously sad?’ You think I’ll be the dark sky so you can be the star? I’ll swallow you whole.

  Warsan Shire

Under their breath, someone said.:
By the time I’ve finished with you, you won’t know whether you’ve been kissed or cut. whether you were loved or butchered. and either way you probably won’t care. just grateful you came close enough to touch.

  Warsan Shire

Your daughter is ugly.
She knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.
As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her.
She was splintered wood and sea water.
They said she reminded them of the war.
On her fifteenth birthday you taught her
how to tie her hair like rope
and smoke it over burning frankincense.
You made her gargle rosewater and while she coughed, said
macaanto girls like you shouldn’t smell
of lonely or empty.
You are her mother.
Why did you not warn her,
hold her like a rotting boat
and tell her that men will not love her
if she is covered in continents,
if her teeth are small colonies,
if her stomach is an island
if her thighs are borders?
What man wants to lay down
and watch the world burn
in his bedroom?
Your daughter’s face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things
but God,
doesn’t she wear
the world well.

  Warsan Shire

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