Dear daughter,
if you’ve inherited my heart
then don’t be ashamed
of how desperate you sometimes feel
or how you stain sheets and shirts
that you are sopping wet
a walking hemorrhage
curious hands in the shower
the first menses of a young girl
a virgin writhing on a bed
you are on fire
you are like your mother.
So how could I ever talk about sin or damnation
when you have legs like creaking doors?
you welcome ghosts home
so I know you will know hell intimately
men who like to punch women in the face
who tongue kiss girls who look like their mother
men who hold you down, face in the mattress.
Daughter with a soft body
the hardest ones will fall for you
and you will usher them in
seek out their sharp edges
the abrasion
and by the time they’ve finished
you will be bloody and sore
teeth marks on your thighs
your torso a burnt house of worship.
Habibti, you do not deserve it but
you will be loved in fragments and fractions
until you no longer look like yourself
until your mouth is just the shape of his quiet name
oh my little girl
rip him out of your body
you come from a long line of women;
Hawa who doused herself in petrol
Ayan who pulled out her own teeth
Khadija who fell asleep in the river
forgetting is the hardest thing in the world,
remember that.

– Warsan Shire


8 thoughts on “Habibi”

      1. I cleared up the mess, locked the doors and double checked and got her the hell out of Dodge for two days after checking she was ok and didn’t need medical attention
        Then fantasized about what I would do if the piece of shit turned up and found me!

        Then again, walking into crapstorms is my life so as much as I miss feeling anything these days, sometimes it’s a blessing


  1. He sought to control
    To make flesh his puppet
    A strangle hold on her throat
    Her mouth his speaker
    A silent grip to withhold her freedom

    She wrapped with care
    The ribbon of submissive nature
    To his will she bent as and when requested
    As he pulled her strings with controlling menace

    Till she tightened the ribbon
    His neck it’s smothered target
    The blade from the kitchen
    To create the food he demanded
    To bleed his power
    A red mess created
    Juries be damned and the law’s condemnation
    Now hollow echoes
    As her plan reached fruition
    The plan that vengeance demanded

    When they found her drinking in silence
    The body only a short distance
    From the smiling vixen
    The very picture of sin
    As another excuse of a man
    She enjoyed making her victim


  2. Then count me as a ear to bend if ever you need it, the dull and dented armour I wear for such occasions still fits (even if the shine wore off a long time ago!)
    And warning; the thing I call a ‘sense of humour’ can occasionally cause offence, whether intended or not?!


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