Price for Life

Artist: Albert Taino

Painting: Areizaga

For Puerto Rico :

She fell to ground, blood red, from wild mother flamboyan. Now a tiny colonized flower grows in occupied cement crack, fragile tendrils reach up to stormy skies desperately seeking sun, resilient wind -blown petals await rain.

The Flamboyan tree could be seen all over Puerto Rico. Their petals are a bright red so they often look ablaze. It is a theme you will see throughout Puerto Rican art and is celebrated as a major iconic image of the island.

The problem with Capitalism is it strips us of our humanity. Communities are merely markets to be sold to. Bodies to be bought, used, and trafficked. To provide a service in labor. To be a buyer of goods. Issues in healthcare, civil rights, wages, nutrition, voting, education, environment, criminal justice, and housing merely weighed upon economic advantages and disadvantages. I am an economic commodity. The price of life a dollar, if life is even a consideration at all. I’m sick of my fate and death being measured in dollars. I’m sick of trying to convince Capitalism that the lives of my loved ones are “worth” it. Trying to provide a cost-benefit analysis weighing repression and exploitation against monetary gain. To even compare the two subjugates dignity, robs us of humanity.

I ask you Capitalism what is the worth of one life? What numerical value in currency can you assign a human life? What is our cost and what is your benefit? The incarcerated inmate, the DACA dreamer, the minimum wage worker, the addicted patient, the child shot to death by gun violence, the unarmed black man murdered by police, the orphan refugee, the Native American body blocking pipelines, the Puerto Rican without food and water? What are we worth I ask? What dollar amount? What debt are you willing to incur for human life Capitalism? Are you willing? TELL ME CAPITALISM WHAT?!

I fucking double dog dare you to tell me, what is my wife, my husband, partner, mother, my father, friend, my son, my daughter, my neighbors, brothers, and my sisters worth? What dollar amount would you sell them for? WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE WORTH?!

My dear reader, if you say human life is priceless, then you agree with me, under the golden greedy fist of Capitalism, there can be no humanity.

Today my husband is 370 days sober

My husband and I are one year free of the chains of addiction

But the fight for life is not over

Donald Trump is “president”, by that I mean Commander in Capitalist. Colonialist in Chief.

40% of my island’s people are without potable drinking water

They are suffering from starvation, living in darkness, and begging for help

Columbus Day is still a recognized holiday celebrating genocide in this country

(there are brilliant and deserving Italians we can celebrate, like Michelangelo and DaVinci, if you want to “go there”)

Power swallows you up if you don’t resist


God bless us all, addicted, sober, rich, poor, mother, child, incarcerated, colonized, and free
God bless us all in our fight for justice and peace

Feel like contributing to relief efforts in Puerto Rico? I got you covered!


10 thoughts on “Price for Life

  1. I watch this unfold from my creature comforts up here in Canada, and it breaks my heart. I hear what you say about capitalism and the current state of affairs in your country. We too have our issues – privilege, First Nations people living in poverty, etc. I really pray that the people of PR can finally have a semblance of a normal life, of hospitals that work, where there is clean water, etc.

    On a lighter note, congrats to you and your husband on his one year+ of sobriety. People often forget the pain and suffering that family members and friends go through when a loved one is going through their addiction and even their recovery. So you have been a wonderful voice in this. I thank you for your support and love to the recovery community.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. It will be years for Puerto Rico but I am hopeful in our resilience, and as for the world, I suppose we must each do our part to make it better, more just, and more peaceful, even if just for one neighbor. I suppose that perspective has been a contributing factor supporting my husband from addiction through recovery and moving forward, to be compassionate and advocate for others, as well as ourselves.

      I am glad you are here, you have been an inspiration for us on our early recovery path.
      Thank you Paul

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My emotions are all over the place…I watch the news and the injustice is never ending.
    Money is the golden calf.
    Power, another god.
    DT has opened the flood gates of hatred, power and greed.
    There were always there, but now they are open wide.
    I am sorry, I will give to your country.

    And I am very happy your husband is over a year now.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Marahu, this is amazing. I hurt for you and your family. I did make a donation to the one of the organizations you listed on twitter; thank you for prompting me into some action. Please make sure you are talking to people IRL the next time you cannot breathe! And not lost in any of this: huge congrats on the one year of sobriety. Thank you for sharing this journey. (You are a fantastic writer).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, donation, and friendship. Despite the despair I experience as we witness the crisis in Puerto Rico, I am able to remain grateful for my husband’s sobriety, and the support he can give me in these tough times as a result of his recovery. A reminder that we must care for each other, whether family, friend, neighbor, citizen, or fellow human being. ✊🏽✌🏽


  4. You wield words as swords, slicing through the self-imposed hypnotism we willingly accept for the national trance we fall into while staring at the electric fire we keep in boxes in our living rooms and desktops. Thank you for the shaking and, I would hope, awakening. You are fighting on so many fronts, each as important as the other. May you always triumph as have done here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your beautifully written comment and kind words. We must not surrender to complacency, which can happen to the best of us. I believe our collective voices have meaning and I hope can be agents for change.
      All the best,


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