A Black Prince for George Floyd By Nancy Morejón (poem)

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A Black Prince for George Floyd

By Nancy Morejón

Though he wanted to throw you in the Mississippi,

the cannibal in the murky uniform

with his knee has scorched into silence

your motionless throat.

The smoke of your flesh ascends to a wet heaven.

Hopping among the flowers, your breath

chases his ghost and manages to bite

the bloody fang of the cannibal.

But you inspire, indomitable, lying on the wet asphalt,

under the quiet shade of an apple tree

in Minneapolis,

where we will place, for you,

this shining, clean

Black Prince* of ours,

to your memory.

 

Cerro, Havana, June 4, 2020

Nancy Morejon is an award-winning Cuban poet, critic and essayist who lives in Havana.

*A ‘Black Prince’ is a type of rose.

Translation: Ana Elena de Arazoza From Resumen LatinoAmericanoEnglish

 

Read more about Nancy Morejon and her poetry here

 

Original poem in Spanish here:

Nancy Morejón, PRÍNCIPE NEGRO PARA GEORGE FLOYD

Aunque su sueño era lanzarte al Mississippi,

aquel caníbal de uniforme opaco

ha quemado en silencio su rodilla

sobre tu cuello inerte.

El humo de tu carne va subiendo hasta el cielo mojado.

Saltando entre las flores, el aire de tus bronquios

persigue su fantasma hasta morder

el colmillo sangriento del caníbal.

Y tú alientas, indómito, sobre el asfalto húmedo,

bajo la sombra quieta de un manzano

en Minneapolis,

donde colocaremos, para ti,

este brillante, este limpio

príncipe negro nuestro,

a tu memoria.

Cerro, 4 de junio, 2020 Nancy Morejon copyright the artist.