Tell me about yourself, Melanie
You guessed it, I was born and raised in the South Bronx. I am a first generation Guatemalan, currently pursuing both my law degree and masters in Urban Planning. My goal is to return and help revitalize my community, and that is one of the reasons the Bronx Native caught my attention. It is a safe space and we need more centers in the Bronx that focus on the arts, whether it is accomplished through poetry, music, or even the artwork displayed on the merchandise. I have always written my poems in private, but my outlet while growing up was dancing ballet, tap, and jazz, amongst other genres.
No longer burning is a reflection of my childhood in the Bronx. I would play in the open fire hydrants— a memory that is kept alive by many youths who still do. Altogether, it serves as a reminder of what the Bronx has been able to overcome and I am excited to join the marathon towards improving it!
No Longer Burning
I grew up running through the pompas
in a community that is no longer burning
But whats concerning?
The dictionary defines ghetto and its inhabitants
As an "isolated or segregated area or group"
But not me,
I run freely through the pompas in a community
that is no longer burning
I am bringing a first generation of life back into my community
you’re from there?
I am observed from a distance like a Ceiba tree
Trying to spread its roots
from the underworld into the heavens
But they do not dare cut me down,
as I am watered by these pompas
running in the streets