100 Refutations: Day 42


At night, in the distance, a scream
In the south, they say, “It is the voice of silence”
In this wardrobe, a cat, trapped
Because a woman
Because a woman
Defended her right

From the mountains, the voice of lightning
It’s the clear thunder of truth
In this holy life wherein no-one forgives no-thing
But if a woman
But if a woman
Fights for her dignity


I followed your steps girl-child
Until I reached the mountain
Then I followed God’s path
In the company of animas

Oh, dark-skinned girl,
Oh, my dark-skinned girl
I won’t forget you

Beautiful Mother, pray for her
Loving Mother, pray for her
Merciful Mother, pray for her


“Dignificada,” performed by Lila Downs.

BBC Newsnight interview with Lila Downs.


Lila Downs

Lila Downs is a Mexican-American artist and activist.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. earned MFAs in creative nonfiction writing and literary translation from The University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing from Anomalous Press and Don’t Come Back from Mad River Books, as well as editor, with Sarah Viren, of the forthcoming anthology Essaying the Americas. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation work has been featured in journals including Bellingham ReviewChicago ReviewFourth GenreBrevityPoets & Writers, and The Sunday Rumpus, among others. She won Best of the Net and Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices Award, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and is a Rona Jaffe fellow. She moved from Colombia to China to Columbus, Ohio to Richmond, Virginia, where she works as an assistant professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. Visit www.linawritesessays.com.

Copyright (c) Lila Downs. English translation copyright (c) Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., 2018.