The Difficult Love

 “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
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, ‘For women who are ‘difficult’ to love’)

I came across the poetry of this young British-Somalian poet by chance. Browsing through the poetry section of my bookstore,  Warsan Shire’s “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth” had been pulled out by someone from the shelf and then kept back. I could make out that the slim book had been returned to the shelf  very hastily, inasmuch ,that it hadn’t settled into the existing systematic and orderly arrangement. It stood apart from the others.Bold and disturbing.Daring to be read. I picked it up and soon was lost in the brilliance of the imagery she creates and the raw chords of the human heart that she plays upon, fearlessly and deeply. Perhaps, the person who had browsed the book before me could not tolerate the  bleeding rawness of the emotions she writes about ? Perhaps, the poet reminded him/her of their inadequacies in love and life ? I guess I won’t ever know.

The above poem went through me like a razor. I identified with it.I saluted the poet. And as as tribute to her and all those women who are ‘difficult’ to love, I continue thus.You will meet that man who is also ‘difficult’ to love. And your separate beings will hinge into one.

a terrifying  and untamed man

strange and beautiful

something not everyone knows how to love

arrives to worship you,unashamed and sacrificial

wiping off every memory of love

to cut you open and pour himself into you

you cry at the beauty of his wild heart

and realize  the ecstasy of surrender


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