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With the release of Beyonce’s latest album, the world is being introduced to one of Brown Girl Collective’s favorite wordsmiths, Warsan Shire.

Warsan Shire is a Somali-British poet currently based in London. In April 2013, she was presented with Brunel University’s inaugural African Poetry Prize, an award earmarked for poets who have yet to publish a full-length poetry collection. In 2014, she was named as the first Young Poet Laureate of London.

A collection of Warsan’s poems, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, was published in 2011. She is currently preparing to release her first full-length collection this year.

“For Women Who Are Difficult to Love” – written by 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 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.


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