Benjamin Alire Saenz is a Chicano poet, novelist, professor and painter who lives near El Paso, Texas, just across the border from the Mexican town of Juarez. Much of his work addresses the land and people of the area. The NewsHour visited him recently to talk about his work — look for our profile of him in the coming days.
The Last Meditation on Living in the Desert
I was born in the desert.
I want to die in the desert.
I want to die in the middle of the summer.
At ten o’clock in the morning.
Preferably on the hottest day of the year.
I want everyone who comes to my funeral to keep repeating
Goddamnit it’s hot. This will make me smile.
If I am not allowed to smile after I’m dead
then I want to live forever.
But only if I can continue living in the desert.