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.

2 Poems: Friendship & Not all poems are forks

By Sam Herschel Wein


for Chen, for Anya

I’m tired of my friends collecting, coupled
& not calling me anymore to get french
fries. I’m tired of curled fingers on old

telephone cords, people I used to sit
on the floor with just no longer around,
conversations stiff, pelvis wrapping in

legs. queers mass shot in a nightclub &
none of them show up with pickles,
mail me a fruit basket, or a yo-yo. I think

straight people believe, I mean really believe
that their partners become the only friends
they ever need. I think queer people mimic

the straights so they don’t become stuck in
a fog storm, no flashlights to illuminate beyond
their front windshields. Maybe friendship

is incessant games of hungry-hungry-hippos,
we vary in how many pellets we get but all
spit up what we can to help each other

from starving, maybe I’m tired of losing
those I once held under unwashed sheets,
I think friendship is supposed to be love

unabound & without paint on the walls,
I’d tell my man I’ll see him next week
after margaritas & a crying session with

Mia across the street, I’m desperate for
no one held up with arm floaties, I want us
bottom sunk where the chlorine is thick.

I’m bored with friends I stop hearing from
until they’ve broken up, I’m out flying kites for
every one of their dumped-ass-crying phonecalls,

I’m eating bokchoy at the farmers market.
I smile with so much green in my teeth.


Not all poems are forks

but each of them have teeth, prongs, sharp silicone. All
poems are lubricated. Most poems pull the lamp under the
table and inspect the family's toenails for a murder
scene. I'm tossing my hair with orange peels and
scented paint. If I were an art installation I probably
wouldn't be able to hold still. If I were an art
installation I would invite all my friends, and they
would be the art installation, too. Stick a fork in
It would be called. And we'll gather outside
the state senator's office, forks with leaves dance in
our hands, “look how peaceful, it's art!” The inside-
building-people will say, so they let us in, we claw
out their eyes, we start a fire & riot & eat what's left
with homegrown tongues

Sam Herschel Wein lives in Chicago and specializes in aimless frolicking. His chapbook, Fruit Mansion (Split Lip Press, 2017) was the winner of the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook prize. He is the poetry editor for The Blueshift Journal, and runs a new journal, Underblong, with his best friend, Chen Chen. Recent work can be found in Vinyl PoetryMojo, and Connotation Press, among others.