The Bronx, a Poem

Back into the guts of this city
of fast tireless legs, tireless
of small white sacks
exploding in the stomach
to bring ecstasy from this winter.
This city of love forever in a week
and of sudden disappearance without a warning.
The good thing of the metamorphosis
It is that after it, all it's glory,
peace is to observe the chaos
knowing that nothing is going to kill you.
My rhythm is living in Brooklyn,
working in Manhattan
teaching in the Bronx;
the mix of music,
the composition of the intensity
the beauty of the effort.
The Bronx is poetry,
I am the target
we know money
was always an excuse
and each day I wake up at night
to convince them
that I also suffered,
and that my loneliness is bigger
still if it is chosen.
Competing for the pain in the Bronx
It's not like in the village,
here we talk with raised chin
showing the body as an unbreakable tree
and no one takes pleasure
from what they want to get out.
I learn common sense from them,
that martial art inherent to many,
In exchange I tell them
that I come to teach them
the language with which I grew up
and that it will open doors for them,
they will understand what for others
will be indecipherable,
I tell them that opportunities will become double,
that I sleep few hours, that  I'm cold and I've seen rats,
that I spent ninety minutes on a train to get here,
so I beg them not to have shame nor anger towards me,
I tell them: I give myself to you,
Nourish from me, use me,
Make me meaningful.
And sometimes the hip hop still sounds
from the last row,
and sometimes I scream,
and other times I think that someone will draw a gun
because this is America
and I graduate students from the Bronx,
I'm the one who tell the student who works at night
That has not studied enough for its class at 8am;
I'm the one who tell the single mother of the broken purse
That she has to buy the class book for $ 100;
I'm the one who corrects the slang
with my white face, my youth, my new clothes.
So one day the worst student, the bad one,
who he is always the most handsome,
the one I like, can shoot me,
a cliché death
a few lines in the free newspaper
that I read in the train.
I spend most of the day in the coach
with strangers;
we looked at each other during the journey.
Life is breathing;
I fill them and I leave
they fill me and they go,
we both know that we won’t see each other again, 
that one second after we already will forget each other;
It is a farewell training
a difficult and continuous exercise
of military discipline.
The city forces you to continue
You cannot be late,
it's  about resistance and speed
about continue or leaving.
There aren’t victims
when you’re betting,
it is a dignified, courageous, brilliant choice to stay,
to challenge yourself
to be better than yesterday,
already without doing, just being,
becoming  that presence,
knowing that time doesn’t stop.
that life is that test.

Ana Vidal Egea
20 de October 2015