— Warsan Shire, “You Were Conceived”

On the night of our secret wedding
when he held me in his mouth like a promise
until his tongue grew tired and fell asleep,
I lay awake to keep the memory alive.

In the morning I begged him back to bed.
Running late, he kissed my ankles and left.
I stayed like a secret in his bed for days
until his mother found me.

I showed her my gold ring,
I stood in front of her naked,
waved my hands in her face.
She sank to the floor and cried.

At his funeral, no one knew my name.
I sat behind his aunts,
they sucked on dates soaked in oil.
The last thing he tasted was me.