What is this place I call home?
What is Mi Tierra?
What does the earth beneath my feet mean to me?
Not only is it the tops of silver peaks, the dirt on my hands nor the high country wind that takes my breath away
Not only is it the thin air I miss so much while traveling
Not only is it the cold waters of the Boulder creek
Not only is it the yellow aspens, the red mesas, the fruitful wine orchards like eden of my youth
Not only is it the history of my family, this land, the WEST
– or the WEST before it was called that
Not only is it the symbiotic relationship between the gentle satin sun and my dark skin
It is also my train passing by ferrying long contemplative faces
It is the jazz players on Wynkoop
It is Washington park with a book
It is the moon in my backyard
It is a rainy 17th street at night with my camera
It is latenight tobacco smoke illuminated by neon dive bars
It is the freight train horn haunting the city streets
It is live piano and coffee
It is driving fast along highway 93
It is running into friends at train stations
It is jazz in the park
It is changing
It is the tourists, the traffic, the transplants
It is the gentrification, the politicization
It is the street begging and the sports cheering
It is the rising rents pushing my grandparents out of their home city
It is the state capitol peering across the park at a 420 rally
It is the newly established hipster cafes chasing out the ‘riff raff’
It is the old standby haunts
The poor, broken down LoDo I used to ride into on an old diesel school bus I now ride out of on a greyhound–
– looking back at the tall glass and metal fortress
It is Denver. This is my earth.
And as I stare across the steel buildings, the pot smokers, the stock brokers, the train tracks and the transplants,
I feel all at once alone and at home.