The author of Fear of Dogs & Other Animals, Shauna M. Morgan is a poet and scholar who teaches creative writing and literature of the African Diaspora at Howard University in Washington, DC. Her current research focuses on representations of womanhood and Neo-anticolonialism in 21st-century literature. Her poems were shortlisted for the 2011 Small Axe Literary Prize and won Interviewing the Caribbean's 2016 Catherine James Palmer Prize. She has published poetry in A Gathering Together, ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics & Consciousness, pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, The Pierian, Illuminations, and elsewhere. Her critical work has appeared in the CLA Journal, ARIEL, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and South Atlantic Review.
how to make her stay
By Shauna M. MorganAdded: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 / Used with permission.
Emotional abuse can be more insidious and have longer lasting effects than physical abuse.
tell her the new fragrance is nice but she doesn’t have to bathe in it
assert that sarcasm is a talent
tell her that her salwar or lappa is weird and take her to the mall for khakis
do so until she stops wearing that colorful garb
track her purchases so you can acknowledge the unseen item when she comes home
give her an allowance and tell her it’s for the future
make sure you don’t tell her any family news that comes to you first
pretend as if you did mention it
push away her hugs and kisses and put off sex for weeks or months
tell her it’s her fault
refuse to let her mother in the birthing room
say it’s because you love her and want to share the moment privately
interrogate everything she does, especially with the newborns
disregard when she notes that you never read the baby books
move to the guestroom and be silent when you have a falling out
as with sex, keep this up for weeks
be gregarious in public, make her and other people laugh
occasionally at her expense
say you don’t know how you won’t put a bullet in your head
if she decides to leave
Listen as Shauna Melissa Morgan reads "how to make her stay."