For Women Who Are Difficult To 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
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
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 traveling 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
someone should have already told you
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to
I was raised to be a difficult woman. I say that with pride and love. I was raised to expect my voice to matter and demand that my opinions be heard. I was raised to think that I matter and that I have purpose that extends beyond how I look.
I was taught to matter in a way that I don’t think many females are prepared. I know that it’s ok if I am single and that that’s not indicative of my self-worth. The attachment to having a partner isn’t highest on my priority list. Love is so important, but I know the love I have for myself trumps all. This is a difficult role to sit in, especially in a world that so often tells women to care the most about being married and being pretty. It sometimes means I walk a little bit of a lonely road, but the love I have for myself is so lovely and pure and honest and beautiful that the loneliness I feel here and there feels more like an expected sacrifice for my confidence that I don’t mind it at all. Warsan Shire’s poem, ‘For Women Who Are Difficult To Love’ feels like a sacred text my soul already knew but hadn’t heard out loud. A poem that reassures me that it’s ok to be difficult and not fit into someone else’s image of who I should be and how I should act. It’s reassurance that I will not shrink myself to please others in order to feel loved. It’s okay to be difficult and ‘uncategorizable’. It’s okay to be me- just as I am and just as I feel to be.
This is an ode to all the women, everywhere, who are difficult to love. We are not here to please, conform, regulate, or compartmentalize for the ease and success of others. We are here- purpose and all, to be, to love, to exist, to live as we are. No apologies. No excuses.
Beyonce dropped a visual masterpiece, titled Lemonade, which of course you already know, unless you live under a rock. The album feels raw, tragic, beautiful, loving, angry, forgiving and a series of emotions all in one, packaged together as only Beyonce could do. The musically tied psychological breakdown of emotions due to a cheating partner are expressed with such truth, be it a great marketing strategy that Bey + Jay concocted, or is the actual result of the alleged affair of Jay Z + Rachel Roy (etc.) – who knows? That being said, art is art and she has made people connect with her music and cinematography in a way that doesn’t truly matter if its a PR stunt or not. I’m here for it, the greater globe seems hear for it, so in a way that’s all that matters.
The bigger picture, as a Black female is that this album felt powerful and enabling of my feminine Blackness in a way that I haven’t felt through any recent artists work as I did with Lemonade. I feel charged, and righteous and here to make a stand, as if Bey herself flicked on the Warrior Goddess light switch and I immediately rose in formation. The album feels more celebratory of my feminine Blackness than defensive of it, which I love even more. The celebration of the Black female has not taken place in this world in a way that it’s due and I welcome the artists and disrupters who enable that celebration to take place.
I hate that I even have to earmark this discussion with a side note, but because I know as soon as one announces the celebration of a particular group, people are ready to decry unfairness, I say this with honesty and love, but whoever thinks that Black empowerment threatens their own power should confront their own racism.
I am here to celebrate myself in a way that does not need permission and does not ask for forgiveness for it either. I am a difficult woman to love, and I’m not sorry for it. I am a difficult woman to love, but the reward of my love is sweeter than milk + honey.