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Reflections | Dr. Leighton Ford (Mentoring)

I Can’t Breathe

June 1, 2020

“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
who moaned?
a black man
head locked by a boot
under a police car
in Minneapolis.

“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
who couldn’t even breathe that?
a Jew man,
hands locked by nails
suffocating on a Roman cross
outside Jerusalem

that’s what crucifixion does.

George didn’t pretend to be Jesus.
Jesus did intend to die for George
and all the Georges of the world.
I wonder, was he there,
trying to breathe for George
or breathe out with him?

Oh, dear Jesus,
please breathe your breath
on us again,
for all those suffocating
in sin,
or sorrow,
in sickness
or servitude,
or slavery.
breathe out your pentecostal fire
on all flesh
black brown
yellow red white
burn out our hatreds,
our silences,
our forgettings,
before we all burn,
before we all die.

-Leighton Ford, Pentecost 2020

 “Breathe on us, breath of God.”

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