Cotton Xenomorph is a new literary journal produced with the mission to showcase new, and ecstatic art while reducing language of oppression in our community. We are dedicated to uplifting new and established voices while engaging in thoughtful conversation around social justice.

Confession with Night Vision and Soap Bubbles

By Todd Dillard

I bring my lips / to the wand’s aperture / exhale / a stampede of orbs / my daughter chases through snow / when it’s cold enough / soap bubbles freeze / drift then plummet / to the earth / to shatter / years ago / my girlfriend took me / to meet her friend / home on military leave / and after white bread sandwiches / watery lagers / he said I got something to show y’all / gathered the dozen of us there / opened a video on his laptop / grainy feed / brackish flesh / attached to a spine of desert / green vehicles lumbered into view / he tapped the screen / whispered: terrorists / then / eruption / mortar bloom / bullet streaks / earthquake in a bed of lilies / I remember / a vertical sliver of emerald / like a blade of grass / flickering / racing into black / he’s on fire! / and at the table / every other face burst / into laughter / no one noticed / when I plucked that leaf / from the screen / slipped it inside my mouth / years now / this kind of swallowing / is a habit / I call living / inside me / a field crouches / my breaths drag / their fingers across it / spill from my lips / fill these spheres / which rise / and fall / into my daughter’s hands / fresh powder / like cloudbanks / swirling / around her / confession: this / is how I imagine God / plucking prayers from the air / cracking open their variegated shells / saying / more / yes / yes


Todd Dillard's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New PoetsElectric LiteratureBarrelhouseSuperstition Review, and Split Lip Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and daughter.

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