. . . it shouldn’t be, not like this. We shouldn’t have to dream yet again of a time when we are seen with our humanity intact. We shouldn’t have to ask each other to reach into our reserves and pull out more.
Some of Us Will Survive
by Noemi Martinez
I’ve been thinking on what is resilience when faced with odds so terrible many of my fam don’t want to see the light of another day. I’ve been trying to think of what to tell my kids. My disabled daughter with a a visual processing disorder. A few years ago men starting looking at her like she was a piece of meat. I recognized that gaze. My son was about nine the first time someone followed him at a store. When he was twelve and almost as tall as me, a security guard sized him us as if he was a man. In his eyes, my brown baby was a man already because Black and brown boys and girls never get to be children. I’ve been thinking what the conversations will be like with my father who fears deportation. Who fears the deportation of his friends, of those in his church, of our varied communities and relatives and family members. I’ve been trying to think of what words to tell my Black-Mexican nieces and nephews.
I’m a historian and I know we-my-people have endured for centuries. I know the historical trauma that is in my DNA. The resilience that we are born with because of this trauma.
But I don’t want us to have to endure. I’ve always wanted us to be.
To be free to be alive.
To be unburdened by stigmas and stereotypes.
And so so much of the work I do is from this premise.
The historian in me knows that our people can and will survive. The poet-curandera in me knows there will come more times of despair and more of disillusionment. That many of our mamas and kids will be the voices that will carry us over.
And it shouldn’t be, not like this. We shouldn’t have to dream yet again of a time when we are seen with our humanity intact. We shouldn’t have to ask each other to reach into our reserves and pull out more.
But here we are, asking just that.
How do we do this–I’ve been asked over and over since the mask was fully removed.
We survive. We organize. We find the words our mothers and grandmothers left us. We grieve. We crack. Some of us will survive.
Noemi Martinez is a queer crip writer, poet and artist sirena living in South Texas. She offers freelance services and creative tarot writing prompts at catrinacreations.com