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.

Sleeping Through

by E. Kristin Anderson

a golden shovel after Kesha

I can turn the lights out now—this is my new peace and I’ll
check for poisons on Monday. I ask the oak for home, bring

apple seeds and rosemary to the road, photograph the thunder
as it distorts another hymn. I’m unfamiliar with holy, but I’ll

tear away these feathers from my eyes, look for a way to bring
open the heavy windows and reach so that I might taste the rain

that collects at night. In the sun I kiss a crow, a mockingbird. Oh,
let’s tangle the dead in ink, print the map on my skin. And when

I kiss the branch and bone of self, discover there a wildfire. I’m
beholden to pavement and to mossy night and here I’m finished

with grace. I curl around my own catastrophe. These ghosts, they
taste time, how it passes with sugar through glass. No, you won’t

know me in velvet, in flannel, in lace or denim—not tonight, even,
carrying your heartbeat like a camera. Still you forget that I know

misadventure. It scabs over, I pull away. Tomorrow you’ll find your
throat full of wasps on waking—oh, yes, you will swallow my name

E. Kristin Anderson is a poet, Starbucks connoisseur, and glitter enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and Hysteria: Writing the female body (Sable Books, forthcoming).  Kristin is the author of eight chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), We’re Doing Witchcraft (Hermeneutic Chaos Press), and 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and a slush reader at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at and on twitter at @ek_anderson.

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