Home 9 Literary Journal 9 Volume 21 9 Volume 21 Poetry 9 Dshamilja Roshani – “Tonight We Are Out”

Dshamilja Roshani
“Tonight We Are Out”

Tonight We Are Out

The streets smell of escape and an urge to be seen.
We can’t control our dreams so we stay up all night,
we dress as we like and outshine all the blame,
we refuse to blend into inherited shame.

Tonight we are out,

with our throbbing knots hot and bloody,
a beating reminder that we are the veins of this city.
Cut open so often but never drained fully,
we paint the pavement of an unseen path
and lick shards of trauma off each other’s skin

Tonight we are out

to chase vampires, and all cold creatures devouring our light,
their white teeth shamelessly feeding on our pride
yet never able to stomach us fully,
so they will cough us up by the end of the night.
But when their mouths spit us out we simply spit back,
sticking like hues to the onset of the morning

Tonight we are out

and we are out to be seen.

For no dream is as lucid as our lives,

unfurling in a world that shades

the many colours of our light.

Dshamilja Roshani is a Berlin-born poet, writer and performer of German-Iranian descent who is based in South Africa. Formally trained in Political Science and Creative Writing, their work explores themes such as queerness, identity, home and belonging.
With poetry at the core of their creative expression, Dshamilja is constantly looking for ways to expand and reinvent the scope of the art form. In this quest, they have developed a diverse skillset in a multitude of mediums, ranging from writing to music, theatre, multimedia video formats and live performances.
Dshamilja was featured on international platforms across South Africa, the US and Germany such as  Poetry Africa, The Joburg Theatre, The New Contrast, Decolonoize Festival and The Poetry Meets Series. They won the The Future of Gender 2022 competition, received the Button Poetry Video Contest 2021 Honorable Mention and ranked third in the WordNSound 2021 Digital Slam Finale.
Dshamilja’s debut album The Pride of Water was released in March 2023 and critically acclaimed as a “sonically astute and lyrically satisfying” body of work.