What We Have

by Warsan Shire

Our men do not belong to us. Even my own father, left one afternoon, is not
mine. My brother is in prison, is not mine. My uncles, they go back home and
they are shot in the head, are not mine. My cousins, stabbed in the street for
being too – or not – enough, are not mine.

Then the men we try to love, say we carry too much loss, wear too much black,
are too heavy to be around, much too sad to love. Then they leave and we
mourn them too. Is that what we’re here for? To sit at kitchen tables, counting
on our fingers the ones who died, those who left and the others who were taken
by the police, or by drugs, or by illness or by other women. It makes no sense.
Look at your skin, her mouth, these lips, those eyes, my God, listen to that
laugh. The only darkness we should allow into our lives is the night, and even
then, we have the moon