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Poem: How To Leave A Man and a Country

Poem: How To Leave A Man and a Country

How To Leave A Man and a Country

 

If a man and a country love the regions they can make on your body,

but not the regions you’re from

They don’t love you

 

If they think they can save you from the regions you’re from

By drawing up borders on your body with their tongue

They don’t love you

 

If they think they can save you

By naming your mountains and hillsides after them

They don’t love you

 

If they think they can save you

By naming your children after regions they are not from

And giving them faces that don’t look like yours

They don’t love you

 

If a man and a country

Occupies you

But refuses to call you home

They don’t love you

If a man or country

You call home says

You are occupying them

They don’t love you.

 

If they make wars over your body

But say that you’re the one making a scene

They don’t love you

 

If a man or country

Hurts you

But claim they love you

They don’t love you

And you don’t have to love them back

 

No matter how much you’ve tried to

Make space for yourself

Between the borders of their words

 

When you realize

The man or country doesn’t love you

Pack your bags

Take the most important parts of yourself

You will leave things that belong to you behind in the country or man

But it’s okay

You haven’t lost yourself completely

That doesn’t mean those parts of you belong to them

 

When the ocean bares its teeth at you

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when you try to move away

Don’t be afraid to cross

 

Its potential to drown you

Is just forewarning not foreshadow

it’s okay if you struggle to stay afloat

The women before you had to stutter and choke

Before they could breathe again

Whether it’s from

Water

A language that isn’t theirs

Or another man’s tongue

 

You may feel like that man is a whole country

And in comparison you are just a person

But You are made up of so many lands

They’ve made wars

Over the possibility of you

Gracing another land with your presence

 

You are a whole world

And he is just a country

And in comparison to you,

That country is just a man

 

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