Tania Hernández Cervantes

I Want to Live

Tania Hernández Cervantes is a Mexican writer currently living in Toronto, where she is completing a doctorate in environmental studies at York University. Her poem “I Want to Live” is a homage to Marisela Escobedo, murdered on December 16, 2010 in Ciudad Juárez for calling for justice in the case of her daughter, Rubí, after the decision of a Mexican court that released her killer in spite of the evidence against him, including a confession in open court. The case of Marisela and her daughter is one of the many tragedies resulting from the violence against women in Ciudad Juárez and the impunity currently afflicting the Mexican justice system.

All I want is to live
The days when something happens
In me or in what I see
That’s why I want to look
There where things happen that one should see
And never to forget
And to feel
How the force of a hand feels,
An eye wide open,
An arm in movement
and to give one’s own life in defence of the eye, the hand, the arm,
The whole body
Never to forget, for example,
That I saw a woman walking
In search of a ruby

Rubí died many times,
(She was not a cat with nine lives, but seven deaths)
One… her death at the hands of the man who cut her to pieces
Two… the other, the judges who let him go
Three… the reporters: they turned to a new scandal
So many good scandals to choose from!
Four… The indifference of the public:
Families all went off together to see a good soccer match
Or a bad one, for all it matters.
Five…  her daughter made an orphan
Six… a killer came for her mother
Seven… a trembling horror runs through a nation’s womb

7 ways to watch the disgrace unfold,
The 7 leans back into the shape of a pistol,
Pulls the trigger
And shoots at the heart of the ruby


Things are happening out there…


All I want is to live the days when I can go out
And to see
That nobody loses
An eye that sees
The arm that carries their son or daughter
Their lives!
I want things to happen to me, yes!
And to live to remember it
Without the dead bodies of women at my side

Translated by Martin Boyd

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