Warsan Shire- The London Story

“Afraid of what love may ask of us, we fill the space with noise and pets.
Worship and diets.
Black-outs and beauty products.
Sleeping pills and dinner parties.
Porn and apathy.

“I hold your hand as we drive through the city towards whatever is beautiful.
I feel my bad memories dispel like puffs of smoke – one by one.
You wear a white glove and pull my sorrow out by the ears.

I look out into the river and when I look back at you, your eyes are wide spinning plates in the dark.

I thought love skipped past women who looked like me.
Tenderness had failed my mother and her mother.
In the right light, you can see their faces in mine when I look up at you from under your good weight. At the park, I watch you blow smoke out of your perfect mouth.
You’re afraid of lying down with me and never wanting to get up again.
That scares me too.
Comfort that consumes you.

I try to imagine what our daughters would look like.
Their obvious beauty embarrasses me.

We’re all slightly ruined by the things we’ve grazed against.

I dance with you in the dark, the grass under us still growing.
Press my mouth to your ear to say “Ameen”,
which is to say there is nothing more to say,
which is to say I have never been so sure.

I prayed for you and here you are, ameen.”

– Warsan Shire

The London Story

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