Poem: Taking a Knee for George Floyd

By Umang Kumar

lockdown, chokehold
New York you fell with Eric Garner
never got your breath back
who knew the virus has lived
deep within you for so long
your green lungs are sick with it too

– what’s novel –

the virus chased Trayvon, claimed Tamir
got Freddie, extinguished Sandra –
it’s been all over the country already

what were you trying to outrun
Ahmaud?

Minneapolis has Philando’s blood
on its hands, remember

This is how it kills, George
like a knee on the neck
bearing down
to crush you
constricting breath
severe
acute
respiratory
syndrome
– pestilence –

America you’ve been behind
masks and hoods far too long

underlying health conditions
coronary artery disease hypertensive heart disease

Lies like airborne viruses
the aerosol mist of white innocence

Who said the virus kills
irrespective of race or class

Bio:
Umang Kumar is a writer based in Delhi NCR and believes in global solidarity.

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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City and India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.

***

Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.

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