by Isaac Kinzambi

Cross me your rivers,
Since my wings have weakened.
Little bird!
Take me to your mountains,
I shall then believe what I see;
I shall sing in your harmony.

Baptize me in your rivers,
Since my skin has vanished.
Tell me about my ancestors,
I shall then live to believe;
I shall meditate on their dreams.

Fly me above the canyons,
Since my soul needs your counsel.
Help me to cross the Atlantic,
I shall not sink to perish;
I shall live among the free.

Afrika, June 2017

Isaac Kinzambi is a poet who traveled to the U.S. in 2017. On the way, he wrote this poem.
Although he currently lives in Angola, Kinzambi says, “One day, I’ll surely be back.”

“Crossing the River” will be part of his upcoming collection I Have a Word. The collection was inspired by the “I Have a Dream” speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is “an assembly of poems and quotes from my experience of being born and raised in a place where what you say can cost you your life.”