He couldn’t breathe.
Nor could She sleep.
Stand firmly against injustice,
My Lord warned;
even against your own-selves.
So I prayed quietly to Al-Adl;
The Most Just to stand me firmly in the face of this evil,
lest my silence thuds on the dead bodies of my brothers and sisters.
Louder I scream to myself.
Bolder I scream to myself.
You don’t have the privilege of giving up.
Our Blackness is from The Divine Creator of the universe;
so is Our Humanity.
Equally moulded through flesh and bones,
but this evil is also known.
Not unfamiliar. Overfamiliar.
Like white knees digging into the neck of Black life.
We always knew.
What they did. What they do.
We can’t breathe.
And Our sleep evades us
as if the deep night has asked us to watch over her.
Keep me safe too she whispered,
for I can no longer find solace in the day.
They’ve taken every shadow of mine and defiled it.
Their pain lives within us.
Their Blackness woven so delicately into Our own that We too absorbed the trauma.
We’re just flesh and bones
Our bodies weep.
But Our souls, like empty wells echo the finality of death.
Our mortality has never intimated us.
We are righteous, patient people.
And Our Lord is The Most Kind,
The Most Merciful.
What We fear is Our dehumanisation.
The collective amnesia of consciousness that has circled Black people,
Our people, since
I can’t be weak right now.
Written in loving sisterhood, dedicated to the memories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Belly Mujinga, Shukri Abdi and the other countless Black victims of systemic racism and white supremacy.
We carry you with us.