This is our blood money, you say,
The precious currency of this country
Of migrants and misery, of the high
And the low, of those who domicile
In palaces built of people's power
And pallid poems, sweat and labor,
Dream and desire even until now
That our first freedoms
Have already come on cue.
It is the blood money
Of those who reside in the rims
Of cities, past the grid of profits,
Those who dream of lunch buffets
On filthy pavements downtown,
In the suburbs, on subway entrances.
Oh yes, you say, the color
Of this blood money
Is the color of the cost
We all need to survive each day,
Just to breathe each day.
Aurelio S. Agcaoili