Warsan Shire, 25, is London’s first Young Poet Laureate and she has been anointed by Beyonce and is recited in Lemonade. She lent her voice to a campaign by The Guardian to push for education on Female Genital Mutilation in UK schools.
Sometimes it’s tucked into itself, sewn up like the lips of a prisoner.
After the procedure, the girls learn how to walk again,
mermaids with new legs, soft knees buckling under their new stainless, sinless bodies.
Daughter is synonymous with traitor, the father says.
If your mother survived it, you can survive it, the father says. Cut, cut, cut.
On a reality TV show about beauty, one girl exposes another girls’ secret. They huddle around her asking questions, touching her arm in liberal concern for her pleasure.
Can you even feel anything down there?
The camera zooms into a Georgia O’Keefe painting in the background.
But mother did you even truly survive it? The carving, the cutting, the warm blade against the inner thigh.
Leveling the ground.
Silencing the devils tongue between your legs, maybe you did?
I’m asking you sincerely mother, did you truly survive it?
Two girls lay in bed beside one another holding mirrors under the mouths of their skirts, comparing wounds.
I am one girl and you are the other.