Like water running away

From your mountains, from your lush little groves

I’m hanging out in my t shirt, shaking my spray can

Your hidden brother.

If you want to hurt your hand, try punching my arm

Try punching my chest, try punching my face


You want to hurt your hand.

‘Cause while you were talking to our sister up in Denver

I’ve been down here working

No one bothers me down here.

We are all family down here, and we work.

We lay rails, we roast chilies, we make brick.

We wash our faces in the Arkansas and get strong.

We paint our dreams and nightmares and get strong.

We fight and drink and eat and love and get strong.

We write the stories and play the music and mold the bronze and brush the canvas and get strong.

We almost forgot you were up there, brother.

See, you can’t look down on your brother Pueblo because

We don’t see you.

Those mountains are the back fence.

That’s the place we threw our rocks and trees

They were getting in the way

Of our work

That levee is our canvas

That’s where we put the dreams that were too big for anyplace else.

Who else could dream like Pueblo?

We clear the deck and lay out the material

We look around for the plans

We start building.

Those stacks are still here, so let’s smoke.

‘Cause where there’s smoke, there’s fire and we are burning

So where’s the ash? Look for our dusty winds

Where’s the spark? Look in the eyes of a Bojohn,

Where’s the blue flame? Look in the halls of Central High

Where’s the red flame? Look in the rooms of Centennial High

Where is the tongue of yellow flame, or the blackened charcoal?  East and South high schools are there.

We are forging something new, brother.

If you think your streets get hot, don’t walk on ours.

We are forging something strong, brother.

If you think we are waiting for you

You are wrong, brother.

We know you won’t wait for us

So we go ahead.

Maybe you can catch up later.

We are forging something real, brother

Because our Mineral Palace is gone

But the gems are buried underneath the ground

Because we didn’t leave Union, but the union

Left us

Because when everything gets taken away and life gives you a hard kick,

All you have is you.

So you limp your way up the mesa

Park your butt on the hill and look at what our Pueblo was

All day, looking out on that vista, day to night.

A song of blue and rosy clouds painting the sky

At sunset; making everyone believe

Then when the dimness seeps into

The edges and corners, then when the darkness begins to flood the distant places

Until we are submerged in night and the lights of the people are

The same as the stars in the blackness that in our night

The horizon is erased by smudging the lines with our thumbs.

And we sing and cry and laugh and climb into our beds,

We dance to the guitars and shake our bells and feathers

We feel and are hurt again.

In the morning, we are still sore.

Our ribs were cracked and our breathing ragged

Our tongues felt around for missing teeth.

What we lost we must have swallowed.

(Those precious stones are buried.)

Nobody came running to pick us up, and you seemed pretty busy, so

We had to make our way.

We had to hunker down and gather up

We had to get our steel and find some flint

To get the friction started

Within our own hands.

Keeping some water nearby because things can catch on pretty quick

At times you don’t expect.

You don’t walk down our streets without

A look in the eye; and if you are lucky, a strong handshake

Trust is easier than you think, brother,

If you come down the hill