“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 prettier less volatile, less awake but even when sleeping you could feel him traveling 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 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 is a Kenyan-born Somali poet, writer, editor and educator who is based in London. Warsan has read her work extensively all over Britain and internationally – including recent readings in South Africa, Italy, Germany, Canada, America and Kenya- and her début book, ’Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth’ (flipped eye), was published in 2011. Her poems have been published in Wasafiri, Magma and Poetry Review and in the anthology ‘The Salt Book of Younger Poets’ (Salt, 2011). She is the current poetry editor at SPOOK magazine. She is a Complete Works II poet. Her poetry has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Warsan is also the unanimous winner of the 2013 Inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Shire is the current Young Poet Laureate of London.