Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY, OPINION

‘I can’t breathe’

Posted on 30 May 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Photo by Abha Karnick

Hamline graduate Abha Karnick wrote this poem after speaking with a mother at Cup Foods earlier this week. View the images she has taken in the Messenger Facebook page photo galleries.

 

I can’t breathe

I watched his last breath. Millions of people soon would as well.
I can’t breathe.
He was murdered on my block next to the bus I ride, in front of my children, in front of the world.
I can’t breathe.
Crowds gathered and my eyes glistened. Glistened with tears, glistened with light from the fires, glistened with hurt and fear and anger.
I can’t breathe.
My city was burning, my people were scattering, my world was shattering. Yelling, cursing, crying. In one ear and out the other, or so it seemed. My senses overwhelmed, my grief inexplicable.
I can’t breathe.
The haze drifted like fog, blocking the view of the city, clouding the hearts of the oppressed. The unheard were here, they were pleading. I was pleading. Let them be heard.
I can’t breathe.
Flowers, thousands, lay on the streets. Graffiti lined the walls of the train and the businesses. “Fuck the 12” “Black Lives Matter” “Society awakens”
I can’t breathe.
This is my city. My city. I ache as history again repeats, never letting up as injustice hits the streets. Ashes from the fires settled on lawns and houses, asking to be seen, needing to be seen.
I can’t breathe.
When will future history books remove the white-authoritative narrative and choose truth? Oh, Minneapolis.

Oh, Minneapolis. I can’t breathe.

 

 

South Minneapolis writer and photographer, Abha Karnick

Abha Karnick is a south Minneapolis resident with East Indian roots who graduated from Hamline University in 2019. Abha grew up in the Twin Cities and found her passions in music, photography, and writing. She has pieces published with CAAL, MNAsianStories, and HER Online Journal, and her passion lies in storytelling and finding the moments to capture. Her writing is best known for pulling at the heartstrings of her community as she dives deep into both the emotion and lives of both herself and those around her.