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Photo by  Cooper Baumgartner  via Unsplash
Photo by Cooper Baumgartner via Unsplash

I need a reprieve.
The world is illness and violence.
I can’t breathe.

The news is full of dead received.
Test sites are stop-and-frisk with medical science.
I need a reprieve.

Prisons need to be relieved,
but Governors refuse to get in compliance.
I can’t breathe.

Police have found new places for their knees,
Storming ghettos like military giants.
I need a reprieve.

Rallies and gatherings where more cases retrieved
Because masks are ignored in defiance.
I can’t breathe.

Systemic racism and police brutality never believed,
even when filmed on a smartphone appliance.
I need a reprieve.

I can’t breathe.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

George Coles-El is a poet, writer, graffiti artist and tutor. He writes under the pen name Mesro Dhu Rafa’a, which means “stand with the sun, master of the ascendants.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, he completed an anthology of writings called "Unsung Hero." He is incarcerated in California.