Santa Mesa

these streets are mean but their gritty smiles inviting

like a quicksand, tug at your feet and pull you in

you can escape, but do you really leave?

a nightmare on the surface, but every woman a queen

not a crown on their heads, but in their minds are dreams

dreams for their children to one day develop wings

a few make it, eventually they fly

while most have their feet stuck to the ground just watching the polluted sky

still they survive

because these streets are mean, but their strength unyielding

every woman a queen

in this brokedown heaven

where we loved, we grew, we felt real pain for the first time

we dreamed little dreams

as we watched the men push to be kings

and children love these streets as our innocence blissfully run

guided by the blasting heat, rays of the sun

highlighting the rough edges that’s been confined here

in this belly of the beast

but it’s home, these streets

when the sun leaves and the darkness hugs every wandering soul that never sleeps

the cruelty lingering every corner where a queen weeps

momentarily disappears

these streets are mean, but even from here the stars we can see

through the ghetto’s smoke and mirrors

telling you right now you too are free.