I Will Breathe

I first want to note to all my brothas and sistas,

This is not meant for hate or discrimination,

Nor is it to break the walls you have built, for this is the next layer of paint the won't be faded or dry up and start to peel.

We say "I can't breathe" to fight back and take a stand, for the wrong that was done to another Black man.

I didn't say innocent or guilty, for it is not my place to judge, not the police, not the people hearing this, but God all mighty, who watches from up above.

And for those who have a different opinion, or might fall under a different religion, let me translate this in other terms.

We all have sinned, done wrong, done things that we are not proud of.
The only difference between us and him,
was we didn't have police or people to crowd us.

If we did have police or people-watching, we still couldn't relate because we are still here to communicate, we still ways to share our voice, we are still talking.

This man was attached to the ground as if he was being squeezed by gravity,

His neck was assaulted, little did they know that his tonsils were claustrophobic,

They were so close to the ground, they started to hear the heart of the concrete beating, or maybe it was just the sounds of his oxygen depleting.

His last words they came the light was I can't breathe, the words of a dying man,
oxygen was so nervous it left his body and his lungs were closed for the day, so it couldn't return back in.

I will not say I can't breathe, for it will not do justice for the family, it will just let the moment live longer in their eyes, why bring more tears to the daughter and wife.

Now is the time to take a new type of stand,
It's time to fight back, with words they do understand.

I shout I can breathe,
to show that I am not an object,
not something that can be thrown around,
not some lint found in your pocket.

I say I can breathe,
To start to take a stand,
To be the oxygen my brotha needed,
when no one was willing to give a hand.

I shout I can breathe,
Because I will not let them silence me,
My oxygen will not be stolen, my freedom will not be revoked, for this life is only temporary, so let me live it the only way I know.

I say I can breathe,
To show them that that they may have left us speechless, but they did not take my breath away, and now my voice is back, I will not fight fire with fire, I will start to breathe, and take my oxygen back, for their fire can't live without it,

This is not to undermine the work that has been done,
For the job is only beginning, and the finished project can not be done by one,
And to all the fallen people,
who life was lost for us to take a stand,
I am sorry that you had to go,
for us to understand,
that with unity there is power, and you were the flowers,
that Tupac once said, that grew from the concrete and reality you are dead,
but you are walking without feet, you breathing without lungs, you live on the hearts of many, you are the beats to our drums, and we walk as a pack, we are no longer just as one, you brought us together,
So when we breathe,
We take back the oxygen that was stolen
When we march,
We take back the time that was lost,
When we come together,
We take tragedy and mold it into change.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741