I Shall Plead for Breath No More
By Issa Shivji
I can’t breath
In this system of breathlessness
Which deprives me of air
Dignity and humanity.
That scorches me in the fire of hell on earth
Of their ghettos and gallows
Which alternate as my home year in year out
For decades and centuries
Since they robbed me from my land
Packing me like sardine
In boxes called boats.
My ancestors died of breathlessness on high seas
I die of breathlessness on highways
Under the knee of white brute
Pretending to police the route
To heavenly palaces
Of his kith and kin.
Who enslaved me in their homes and plantations
Ensnared me in their factories and industries
Breathing smoke and carbon from its chimneys
Blackening my lungs
Thickening my arteries
Leaving me vulnerable to be killed in tens and thousands
From coronas and sars of this world.
Enough is enough
I shall bow down no more
I shall worship at the altar of white god no more
I shall be cheated by dollar bills no more
I shall kneel down in churches no more.
I shall plead for breath no more
And there shall be fire next time no more
Fire is now and here
To stay for ever
Till I can breath again
Breath again and again
Without shiver or fear.
Issa Bin Mariam (Issa Shivji)
Dar es salaam