Yesterday while I was still reeling from the fact that George Floyd, yet another loved one , has been taken by an act of police cruelty, my soul brother Eric Darnell Pritchard began sharing this poem as a resource. I wrote this poem in 2014 and first shared it at the BOLD national gathering as part of a Black Feminist Breathing activity to center us and bring us back to our breathing in the aftermath of our collective witnessing of a police officer choking Eric Garner to death while he cried out for help. I don’t want us to need this ceremony anymore, but we still do. This is a poem to bring you back to your breathing, to remind us all of the sacredness of breathing. I recommend listening to the audio version and breathing along at the stanza breaks. Your breathing is sacred. Our breathing is sacred. I love you.

– Alexis Pauline Gumbs

C(h)ant. Breathe.: Returning to Breath for Eric Garner and Many More by Alexis Pauline Gumbs