Back to Issue Thirty-Five

(pleasure-knowledge) (knowledge-pain)


After Rickey Laurentiis

Afterward, you shower. 
                      You put on hot water 
watch the blood trickle
                      into the drain’s many mouths. 
He says to cool it. 
                      He isn’t circumcised, the heat 
makes his dick flare. 
                      You want to turn it on 
max to baptize you both
                      but a coward deserves 
more than one death.
                      Settle for a make-out 
session, he is your boyfriend
                      after all. He will know 
to touch you tender—like a man
                      who successfully shoots
a deer from outside its realm
                      of control feigns concern 
at its messy death. His mother 
                      will be home soon
leave your fluids at his place.
                      When you are on 
the bus home, you cycle 
                      through the motions. 
When did his bedroom 
                      become the garden? 
How was he the snake, 
                      fruit, and God? 
Does that make you 
                      the pain which negates 
the loneliness? 
                      You can’t stand 
knowing what you’ve been:
                      muddied creature 
dredging under a sky 
                      the same shade 
as his linen sheets.


Deon Robinson is a Queer Afro-Latino poet born-and-raised in Bronx, New York. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing at Susquehanna University, where he was the two-time recipient of the Janet C. Weis Prize for Literary Excellence. His work can be found in The Adroit Journal, ArLiJo, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Homology Lit, Vagabond City Lit and Variety Pack (Black Voices of Pride), among others. His work was nominated for Best of the Net in 2019 and he is a recipient of a 2020 Brooklyn Poets Fellowship. He is currently working on his debut poetry chapbook. Look out for more of his work here.

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