Let this black life breathe | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:18 AM, July 09, 2020

Let this black life breathe

Translated by Shuprova Tasneem

Let me breathe

Underneath my black skin

(there is) red blood,

Wilting like a fresh rose

My breath—

One by one, the petals are falling

Let me breathe—


I can't breathe.


That sky is blue,

Let me see it

White peak of the White House

Let me see—

Over there, democracy is coming alive

Or dying

Let me breathe


I can't breathe.


Your powerful knee

Choking me

I can no longer sing

Yet they say, from my black voice

Innocence falls—ivory innocence

I can't breathe


Let me breathe.


With these powerful hands

I hurled that ball

In delight, dismay

The crowd roared once

I triumphed.         

Now my arms are paralysed

I can't move them.


Let me breathe.

I can't breathe.                      


I am forgetting

My mother's face

My childhood memories

They are blurring —Quincy, Xiana

My playground

Jesus Christ.

Inside a dream

In intense pain

One last time

I cry out —I can't breathe!


With a flock of birds

I spread my wings

I fade

Into that distant horizon.

On the last melancholy breeze

My lament remains

Let this black life breathe.

I can't breathe.

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