Balboa Park

Balboa Park

He lay his blanket underneath the freeway as the evening sky grew dark
Took a sniff of toncho from his coke can, headed through Balboa Park
Where the men in their Mercedes come nightly to employ
In the cool San Diego evening the services of the border boys

He grew up near the Zona Norte with the hustlers and smugglers he hung out with
He swallowed their balloons of cocaine, brought 'em across the Twelfth Street strip
Sleeping in a shelter if the night got too cold
Running from the migra of the border patrol

Past the salvage yard 'cross the train tracks and in through the storm drain
They stretched their blankets out 'neath the freeway and each one took a name
There was X-man and Cochise, Little Spider his sneakers covered in river mud
They come north to California, end up with the poison in their blood

He did what he had to for the money, sometimes he sent home what he could spare
The rest went to high-top sneakers and toncho and jeans like the gavachos wear

One night the border patrol swept Twelfth Street, a big car come fast down the boulevard
Spider stood caught in its headlights, got hit and went down hard
Car sped away, Spider held his stomach, limped to his blanket 'neath the underpass
Lie there tasting his own blood on his tongue, closed his eyes and listened to the cars rushing by so fast

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