“We Are Only Children Part-Time” – Deon Robinson

There was the year Illianna bled into her desk-chair and Sierra (from two rows back) made sure the whole class knew to bury her in laughter. Illianna just cried silently and raised
her hand. Mr. V let his silence possess him until he let her run to the bathroom, tears leaking from her tired eyes.

I never saw her again. I would walk her home everyday beforehand and she even introduced me to the inked bulletproof vest she called father. That year, Sachem transferred to a new school because his parents were concerned the bullying would only worsen his taste for divorced bodies of water.

I never quite forgave him for leaving me be called a fag by myself.

That year, Sierra threw a textbook at Joshua that flew a centimeter away from my head and Mr. V didn’t call the security guards since they were all women and asking a woman for help made him feel like less of a man.

Illianna never did come back. I walked myself home knowing that I did my best and how my best was to stare at her from my seat and not laugh. I think about her and Sachem, how the enemy of my enemy is also too young to know suicide is.

Not so much a friend but a shadow, how all my best friends were bullied till they were out the door, out of this world. And I could’ve joined them, but Google didn’t have a beginner’s guide to killing yourself.

Years later, my mother wishes I had been honest with her. But how does a 11yr old explain a scarred wrist? Say and that’s not even the loneliest wound I’ve ever seen.


Deon Robinson is an Afro-Latino poet born and raised in Bronx, New York. He is an undergraduate at Susquehanna University, where he is the two-time recipient of the Janet C. Weis Prize for Literary Excellence. His work appears in Glass: A Journal for Poetry, Homology Lit, Honey and Lime Lit, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Occulum Journal, Okay Donkey, the Shade Journal, and Vagabond City Lit, among others. His work was also nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology in 2019. Follow his misadventures and let him know what your favorite poems are on Twitter @djrthepoet.

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