What I Drink

FEU Advocate
July 26, 2023 06:32

Each day, vermilion kisses the coast of my hometown.
I watched fathers return home with humble heads bowed down.
With weary feet and fractured spines, they carry scraps from their labor,
A few leftovers collected from the opulent’s dining floor.

In the royalty’s cellar, families upon families remain. 
Labeled as pests of society, told not to complain.
Each night of their feast, we sleep to the clinks of fancy cutlery.
The drinks denied to us, we have endured so thirstily. 

Gone were the days I questioned why we’d tolerate such abuse.
It’s hard to believe when they claim versatility is the path we choose.
For I have witnessed injustice in burgundy-shaded drinks, 
One luxuriated with time, the other emitting blood-rustic stinks. 

To be exiled from centerfold and denied fortuity 
Is something I’d never wish, not even on my worst enemy.
All who bore witness to our suffering averted their eyes,
They claimed tragedies behind what we drink were mere alibis.

-Wyan Aira Mendez

(Illustration by Shiena Sanchez)