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Wednesday, July 01, 2020


by KP Liles 

German artist Eme Freethinker has painted a portrait of George Floyd on what used to be the Berlin Wall to honour the unarmed black man killed May 25 by a white Minneapolis police officer, who knelt on his neck for almost 10 minutes.

George Floyd
George Floyd
George Floyd

And so many
buried unheard
we now cannot unhear

Nor can we ignore
revolutions’ anthem
I can’t breathe

Impossible to unsee
George Floyd
that pressing knee

Ahmaud Arbery
jogging Glynn County
Georgia George Floyd

Breonna Taylor
sleeping Kentucky
Less than a meme’s life apart

Eric Garner New York City
Michael Brown Ferguson Missouri
Nia Wilson George Floyd

Oakland California Trayvon
Martin Sanford Florida
Tamir Rice Cleveland Ohio How

many George Floyd George Floyd
until name becomes flood
spilling all the killed Black folks

into brightly lit kitchens
until the dream’s ghost
upends breakfast table

until No
No Some risks George Floyd
do not resolve in mind

So if it is not for me
to lift your body or name
let mourning

be pallbearer
to token grief
minstrel solidarity

Head bowed shouldering memory
let us at long last George Floyd
carry outrage ‘cross that bloody river

end this procession
where we face off
the uniform night

KP Liles has penned two poetry collections, Singing Back the Darkness (NYQ Books) and Spring Hunger (Plain View Press). He currently lives in the New Orleans metropolitan area.