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Warsan Shire Warsan Shire > Quotes


Warsan Shire quotes (showing 1-30 of 74)

“My alone feels so good, I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude.”
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 he so terribly brave to love a girl 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
“You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, someone not everyone knows how to love.”
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
prettier
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
“It's not my responsibility to be beautiful. I'm not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.”
Warsan Shire
“two people who were once very close can
without blame
or grand betrayal
become strangers.
perhaps this is the saddest thing in the world.”
Warsan Shire
“give your daughters difficult names. give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. my name makes you want to tell me the truth. my name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.”
Warsan Shire
“At the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.”
Warsan Shire
“every mouth you’ve ever kissed
was just practice
all the bodies you’ve ever undressed
and ploughed in to
were preparing you for me.
i don’t mind tasting them in the
memory of your mouth
they were a long hall way
a door half open
a single suit case still on the conveyor belt
was it a long journey?
did it take you long to find me?
you’re here now,
welcome home.”
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
“the year of letting go, of understanding loss. grace. of the word ‘no’ and also being able to say ‘you are not kind’. the year of humanity/humility. when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed. everyone i’ve met this year, says the same thing ‘you are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’. the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands. the year i learnt small talk. and how to smile at strangers. the year i understood that i am my best when i reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’. the year of sugar, everywhere. softness. sweetness. honey honey. the year of being alone, and learning how much i like it. the year of hugging people i don’t know, because i want to know them. the year i made peace and love, right here.”
Warsan Shire
“you can't make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that”
Warsan Shire
“With you, intimacy colours my voice.
even ‘hello’ sounds like ‘come here'.”
Warsan Shire
tags: love
“I have my mother’s mouth and my father’s eyes; on my face they are
still together.”
Warsan Shire
“1. I’m lonely so I do lonely things
2. Loving you was like going to war; I never came back the same.
3. You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood.
4. I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home.
5. You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave.
6. I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember.
7. I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless.
8. It’s not that he wants to be a liar; it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth.
9. I couldn’t love you, you were a small war.
10. We covered the smell of loss with jokes.
11. I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents.
12. You made the nomad in me build a house and stay.
13. I’m not a dog.
14. We were trying to prove our blood wrong.
15. I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things.
16. Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother.
17. No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot.
18. He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me.
19. You were too cruel to love for a long time.
20. It just didn’t work out.
21. My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back.
22. I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth.
23. I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home.
24. The women in my family die waiting.
25. Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you.
26. I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me.
27. You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick.
28. He sent me a text that said “I love you so bad.”
29. His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile
30. We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love.
31. Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you.
32. I’m a lover without a lover.
33. I’m lovely and lonely.
34. I belong deeply to myself .”
Warsan Shire
“I belong deeply to myself”
Warsan Shire, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
“make love
like you have no
secrets
like you’ve
never been
left
never been
hurt
like the world
don’t owe you a
single
wretched
thing.”
Warsan Shire
“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”
Warsan Shire
“I’m not sad, but the boys who are looking for sad girls always find me. I’m not a girl anymore and I’m not sad anymore. You want me to be a tragic backdrop so that you can appear to be illuminated, so that people can say ‘Wow, isn't he so terribly brave to love a girl 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
“Don't assume, ask. Be kind. Tell the truth. Don't say anything you can't stand behind fully. Have integrity. Tell people how you feel.”
Warsan Shire
“i give myself five days to forget you.
on the first day i rust.
on the second i wilt.
on the third day i sit with friends but i think about your tongue.
i clean my room on the fourth day. i clean my body on the fourth day.
i try to replace your scent on the fourth day.
the fifth day, i adorn myself like the mouth of an inmate.
a wedding singer dressed in borrowed gold.
the midas of cheap metal.
tinsel in the middle of summer.
crevice glitter, two days after the party.
i glow the way unwanted things do,
a neon sign that reads;
come, i still taste like someone else’s mouth.”
Warsan Shire
“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 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
“You are terrifying and strange and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love.”
Warsan Shire
“i don't know when love became elusive
what i know, is that no one i know has it
my fathers arms around my mothers neck
fruit too ripe to eat, a door half way open
when your name is a just a hand i can never hold
everything i have ever believed in, becomes magic.

i think of lovers as trees, growing to and
from one another searching for the same light,
my mothers laughter in a dark room,
a photograph greying under my touch,
this is all i know how to do, carry loss around until
i begin to resemble every bad memory,
every terrible fear,
every nightmare anyone has ever had.

i ask did you ever love me?
you say of course, of course so quickly
that you sound like someone else
i ask are you made of steel? are you made of iron?
you cry on the phone, my stomach hurts

i let you leave, i need someone who knows how to stay.”
Warsan Shire
“for the fifth time this month
you say you’re going to leave him
he calls you a cunt over the phone
then walks the three miles to your house
and kisses your mouth until the word is just
a place on your body.
i don’t know what brings broken people together
maybe damage seeks out damage
the way stains on a mattress halo into one another
the way stains on a mattress bleed into each other.”
Warsan Shire
“To my daughter I will say, when men come, set yourself on fire.”
Warsan Shire, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
“your mouth is a lonely place but i keep coming back.”
Warsan Shire
“fit in here, in my palm, in my shadow, don’t be bigger than my idea of you, don’t be more beautiful than i can accept, don’t be more human than i am willing to allow you to be and be quiet, you’re too loud, even your un-belonging is loud. quiet your dreams, your voice, your hair, quiet your skin, quiet your displacement, quiet your longing, your colour, quiet your walk, your eyes. who said you could look at me like that? who said you could exist without permission? why are you even here? why aren’t you shrinking? i think of you often. you vibrate. you walk into a room and the temperature changes. i lean in and almost recognise you as human. but, no. we can’t have that.”
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
“You think I’ll be the dark sky so you can be the star? I’ll swallow you whole.”
Warsan Shire

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