34 ODES TO WARSAN SHIRE
1. I refuse to believe I am a difficult woman.
2. I love the way you say the word body. Your vowels are rounder than mine – heavier, as if they know something.
3. I loved my body, but only certain parts.
4. I tried everything to make myself prettier by destroying my body – and it worked.
5. You are so beautiful, did you know that?
6. I wish women didn’t have to write poems about –
7. Sometimes I run out of feelings.
8. I am waiting for the day my body betrays me.
9. You are the song in my head that I was too afraid to write.
10. I hear you and it hurts, so you read it again.
11. Somehow the threads of my life snuck into your poems and slept.
12. They say never go to bed angry.
13. I say never eat anything angry or else the food tastes like injustice in your mouth.
14. Why should I believe what they say when the words they use are no different than mine.
15. The hair on your head grows at the same rate as sorrow.
16. What do you do when you are homeless and can’t live in your own body?
17. I can’t live like this anymore. Your sound is the sea I want to throw myself into.
18. When you speak, the world rotates softer around the axis of your voice.
19. When the pieces of your heart break apart so many times, how they are put back – doesn’t matter.
20. I am tired of listening to the news.
21. My mother told me to freeze my eggs so I won’t be so lonely.
22. I will freeze my eggs in the event of an apocalypse.
23. You are only as valuable as your body.
24. I’m tired of listening.
25. I hate to say it, but you inspire me to have more volume.
26. I will not be silent next time, but more about you, less about me.
27. You have no shadow. You don’t need one.
28. Forgive me, sometimes I am ashamed for no reason.
29. I went for a walk in your words and came back speechless.
30. It’s hard to fold myself neatly out of the way with you standing there.
31. Why would I rather be a woman instead of a wall?
32. You cannot be beautiful and loud.
33. Nobody loves me as much as –
34. Nobody loves.