You stand there in the streetcorners
Of Western-Carson, your transient lives
In your pockets, peso-less, dollar-less
As of yet in the first lights.
For days and days on end, in ritual,
You despair of delirious delights
On your country comedor and creaking cots.
Good, gracious tamales and tacos
And the telltale truths of exile
Preluding long-lasting loving
And singing in the summers, in the rains
In Cancun, Juarez, Tijuana, the towns.
This is the life, we both say, me
A Manila man, both myth and metaphor
And you, resilient residents of empires,
Small marvels of riveting redemption
From the gods we both own and despise.
Go on, pilgrim pañeros, soul brothers.
The borders crossed us, defiled us.
But we must go on, we must hang on.
Aurelio S. Agcaoili