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Inspired by the poem: “The Fire,” by Warsan Shire | Designed by Monique Marchwiany

He says “I don’t get it, why are you still a virgin at 24?”

He says “I don’t believe you, I’ve seen you walk, virgins don’t walk like that.”

He says, “That ain’t natural, people are supposed to fuck.”

He asks “Why though? No offence though.”

I ask “When was your first time?”

He says “I was 12.”

He says “I know what you’re thinking, that’s too young.”

I look at his knuckles, he has two good hands.

He says “She was older than me.”

I ask “How old?”

And he says “It’s better that the girl is older, that’s how I learnt all things I know.”

He licks his lips.

I ask again “How old?”

He says “I could use one finger to make you sob.”

I think of my brother in prison and I can’t remember his face.

I ask again “How old?”

He says “Boys become men in the laps of women, you know?”

I think of my mother’s faced lined with her bad choices in men.

He says “If you were mine you wouldn’t get away with this shit, I’d eat you for hours, I’d gut you like fruit.”

I think of my cousin’s circumcision, how she feels like a mermaid, not human from the waist down.

He says “I’d look after you, you know?”

I laugh, I ask for the last time How old?”

He says “34.”

He says “She was beautiful though and I know what you’re thinking but it’s not like that, I’m a man, I’m a man, I’m a man. No one could ever hurt me.”

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2 thoughts on “Warsan Shire: “Crude Conversations with Boys Who Fake Laughter Often”

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