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Tuesday, January 20, 2015


by Susan Gerardi Bello

Tributes of drawings, flowers, pens and candles are left in front of the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 14, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images via New York Observer)

I am walking down the street at night, on my way home from a party,
wearing an above the knee black skirt, and tall black boots.
The rest of me is covered with winter coat, scarf and gloves.
Only my face is showing and the small bit of stocking
from the middle of my knee to the top of my skirt.  I've had wine
but not too much. I am happy, smiling, remembering moments
of conversation, silly asides, laughing 'til my belly hurt.
I reach my car, fish through my bag for my keys, and I am punched
hard, knocked down, dragged away from my car to the back
of the parking lot where it is dark, where the creek runs.
I am hit again and again. I am raped and I am cut. I am discarded,
half-conscious with clumps of frozen leaves.
I am Charlie.

Susan Gerardi Bello is a member of the New York City-based poetry community Brevitas and U.S. 1 Poets' Cooperative in Princeton.  Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including the Paterson Literary Review and U.S. 1 Worksheets as well as on New York Public Radio.  Her poem "The Game" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.