I am far from where I came from.
I would try to make a sound, but no one would hear me.
I would try to make a move, but no one would see me.
I don’t mind death; I was never afraid to die.
But now that I’m gone I’m afraid I’m forgotten;
Down in the basement of a museum,
Down among hundreds of boxes,
Down because no one seems to care that I am alive.
Maybe I’m not breathing…but I feel erased. And if my spirit feels something, doesn’t that mean I am still valid?
Still relevant ?
I fear I am truly gone if I am not remembered.
I am not content with being a catalog number, used to satiate someone’s interest in science.
I am not content with being taken against my will by a stranger.
I am not content with being a pawn in the systemic genocide of my people.
I think one day someone will remember me. I will be claimed by my people, and justice will be served.
Justice will be peaceful,
Justice will be right,
Justice will be obligatory.
Inspired by and dedicated to our displaced Indigenous ancestors that have still not been repatriated to their rightful homes. To this day, remains of our people can still be found tucked away in the basements of museums for “research”. These remains have been taken from various places, at various times; at massacre and war sites,burial scaffolds, and grave sites. The number 1170 is significant because this is my tribal enrollment number, and symbolizes my solidarity with our ancestors that have been nothing more than a number in a record book.
Camaray Davalos is a 24 year old Indigenous (Payómkawichum), Mexican, Cuban, Jewish, and Irish writer from Southern California. You can find her on instagram.
Illustration by Raz.