Rob Berretta

Urban Arizona

Rob Berretta
Rob Berretta


We banked to the left as the landing gear shook

I pulled up the shade, every inch a newcomer

The clouds gave away and I took my first look

As we dropped through the heat of my first desert summer

We passed through the valley speeding to the hotel

And the hills became buildings, heaven straight into hell

I should be on the mountains communing with rattlers and bones

Instead of wasting away my sweat on these cracked cobblestones



Urban Arizona, so close to paradise it’s a pity

Urban Arizona, when you’re trapped in what passes for city

When nature abounds in her majesty pure

But necessity grounds you to barely endure

You hope for a break, wait for beauty to lure you away

But now it’s urban Arizona and slow decay


Maria Conchita Perez de Guzmán lives in a house up on Altadena

Bought the place of her dreams but now her savings are gone

And she works every day at the downtown arena

As she pours me a beer she says, “It’s quite an event

For a woman like me to finally own and not rent

But to even the workers I’m still second class at best

That’s the price you must pay as you work your way up in the West”



I miss New York with her concrete gods

The grime and glitter pull at me like lightning rods

But coming out here I don’t want to compare

The layout of streets, Times with Copper Square

I just want to revel in the glories I can’t find at home

Ah, but here I am in these corporate halls I must roam


The plane’s slanting east shooting into the sky

Only one window free, of course it’s over the left wing

So I crane my neck back and bid a silent goodbye

To the uncharted wonders I was always awaiting

And I think of Maria in her portable bar

We can both see our freedom so near yet so far

And we’ll meet up one day when we’re tired of working too hard

We’ll trade in for grand canyons with this empty boulevard



It’s just urban Arizona and slow decay


© 2009 Rob Berretta