Sunday, December 20, 2015

KianaRose writes

January 7, 2015

The night I danced on icy roof in Prague
Was the night people were shot dead in France
Je suis Charlie!
But I wasn’t.
We weren’t.
At least not me and drunken friends dancing on icy roof
Boy wanted girl and girl said no but wasn’t strong enough
That night
So I stepped in and kicked the boy. Wrong boy.
This boy loved me. And me?
“I’m just not feeling it.”
I wasn’t feeling a lot of things that night.
That year.
That life.
Dancing on icy roof
in cut off shorts my mom made,
because who can afford to buy them?
and an old scratchy sweater,
I stole from my dad.
I danced to the sound of brisk air and white noise.  
“Lesbo” was a common taunt when I was in the 7th
Had nothing to do with actually liking girls.
I just wasn’t feeling boys.
My head cared more for comfort in words bound by time
Than the comfort of some guy’s arms.
Dancing on icy roof,
I wasn’t in the 7th grade anymore.
Wearing clothes much too large to hide a body,
square and boyish.
Legs too long, meant for jumping.
Meant for dancing on icy roof.
Prague didn’t care that I lied about hating my English teacher.
Didn’t care that I re-read Hamlet twice.
Didn’t care that I watched the news on my Saturday nights.
Didn’t care that I laughed too loud or snorted when the joke was too good.
Didn’t care that I bounced in my step.
And didn’t care that I had people call me Kiana because some idiot in kindergarten
Said my name was ugly.
Prague was made from light.
And despite its darkness it glittered gold;
Like my heart did when I learned how to read.
Like my heart did
That night, dancing on icy roof in Prague,
I kicked the first boy to ever love me,
And people were shot to death in Paris
Je suis Charlie.
But I wasn’t Charlie.
I was the gun. 



  1. Charlie Hebdo ("Charlie Weekly") is a French satirical weekly magazine published every Wednesday, with special editions issued on an unscheduled basis. Editor Stéphane Charbonnier ("Charb") claimed the magazine's editorial viewpoint reflects "all components of the plural left, and even abstainers." It first appeared in 1970 as a companion to the monthly Hara-Kiri magazine, after a previous title was banned for mocking the death of former president Charles de Gaulle. The magazine has been the target of two terrorist attacks, in 2011 and 2015, presumably in response to controversial Muhammad cartoons it published. On 7 January 2015, two gunmen forced their way into the Paris headquarters and opened fire, killing 12 (staff cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Honoré, Tignous, and Wolinski, economist Bernard Maris, editors Elsa Cayat and Mustapha Ourrad, guest Michel Renaud, maintenance worker Frédéric Boisseau and police officers Brinsolaro and Merabe) and wounding eleven, four of them seriously. The day after, the surviving staff announced that publication would continue according to the usual schedule; instead of its usual print run of 60,000, five million copies were produced, and the revenue went to the victims' families. The phrase "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") was used on Twitter by French journalist and artist Joachim Roncin and quickly spread to the internet at large, adopted by supporters of free expression in many nations, used on computer-printed or hand-made placards and stickers, and displayed on mobile phones at vigils.

  2. I liked the premise and loved the poem. Thank you also to Duane for the background, it expanded the piece so much more.

  3. I really like this poem! At first, I wanted to put "an" in front of icy roof = an icy roof. But as the poem progressed, I liked its omission. I love the the line, "I kicked the first boy to ever love me." This is a very fine poem.


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