I can't breathe | Teen Ink

I can't breathe

December 7, 2014
By laxgirl06 ELITE, Cheshire, Connecticut
laxgirl06 ELITE, Cheshire, Connecticut
113 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Enslaved by intolerance,
and coerced into complacency,
we are powerless.
Confined to the burdensome
shackles of conformity.


Imprisoned by prejudice,
and outdated societal values,
I am going to suffocate,
if all this hatred continues.
We are sufferers of
I can’t breathe,


our fear of the unknown
disgusts me.
Unnecessary animosity, hatred,
and hostility.
Are we doomed to lives of venality?


I can’t breathe,
aware of the indiscretion
and unnecessary aggression.
What makes one life significant
and another unimportant?
Is it the amount of melanin
present in one’s skin?
Forgive us, Father,
for we have sinned.


Promises of equality,
are null and void.
Live your entire life as subordinate,
you have no choice.
Emancipation Proclamation,
has had no effect whatsoever, on this nation.

Mere pawns in a game called life,
I refuse to let social injustice,
break my stride.
We are Atlas,
with the weight of the world on our backs,
that’s what it really means,
to be black.


I can’t breathe,
in a country plagued by hypocrisy.
Home of the brave,
And land of the free?
America is much too cowardly.


Government, freedom, democracy?
Then why is there so much inequality?
Will we always be disenfranchised and


To Michael,
left to die in Ferguson heat,
simply because,
he was walking down the street.


To Tamir,
A fake gun was all it took,
your skin was a provocation,
so they shot you dead,
without taking a second look.


To Eric,
just trying to break up a fight.
You didn’t know,
it would cost you your life.


And to all the rest
that died in vain.
Murder, murder,
Too much pain,


Police officers proclaim,
It is their duty to protect and serve,
So why take away so many innocent lives,
Is this what we deserve?


There will come a day when we will see,
that we are all a part of humanity.
That the color of our skin,
has no effect on what lies within.
But right now,
I can’t breathe.

The author's comments:

This piece was inspired by the excessively visible effects of police brutality and serves to remember and commemorate the innocent African-American lives lost as a result of unnecessary use of lethal force. For Michael, Tamir, Eric, and all the rest.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Dec. 25 2014 at 11:40 pm
laxgirl06 ELITE, Cheshire, Connecticut
113 articles 0 photos 21 comments
@megthepoet Thank you for your kind comment!

on Dec. 17 2014 at 10:45 am
megthepoet ELITE, Winnipeg, Manitoba
212 articles 23 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We know what we are, but not what we may be" - Shakespeare

This is such an amazing piece! thank you for sharing!