Words by Nick J. (@nickjoosthuizen)

Main image by Nathan Whitaker (@manc_wanderer) at a Manchester-based protest, May 2020

“wanted to shine, wanted to shine,”


Unmistakeable scars, ignored –

the tarmac paved over –



fuel on a necklaced flag,

tortured spit,

in the midst of a pandemic and question marks:

Which lives matter most? Where did the madness come from?

Covid? Cursed curfews? Syphilis?

But who asks after them? Does anyone?


The street where he lay,

it has a name, it had one, now it must bear another,

it must,

forever remember those kneels and that knee,


for god’s sake, how easy it could’ve been, is,

to see,

to hear,

he spoke of words,


“I can’t breathe!”

“Don’t kill me!”

two minutes and fifty-three seconds before sleep came over him.

And now, off course, they beg:

For peace, for them, they,

they lie through clenched teeth,

triggered by his no-longer, but once obedient, audible breathing,

he is (not) sleeping,

they have found a you,

so too have we,

we, this time we dare you to cry,

stifle freeze,

your hours are orphans and your pleas will fall on

deaf stairs...

Finally, it will come over you,

the starless stripped field doth echo,


“I cannot breathe!”

“Don’t kill me!”

It is your turn,

to sleep.


Black Lives Matter - https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Minnesota Freedom Fund - https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/

TEMPLATE LETTER TO YOUR MP BY @hattirex: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13Bc6CXXjqGVoiEvtO6eARvKX11-GAtikwSPg9uPiVQg/edit?usp=sharing

SIGN THE JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD PETITION: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd