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.


by Kanika Lawton

for Danielle

I remember my ninth birthday party, how every
girl in our class came to my house and it stormed
and we ran from the pool back inside, hair soaking
and laughing until our stomachs hurt, complaining
when the power cut out and the TV wouldn’t work,
and my mother painted each of us our own birdhouse
and how, in the invitation, she asked everyone to write
down their favourite colour and you were the first to
RVSP and you wrote down “sable,” and my mother
didn’t know what colour that was so she painted your
house tan and gold, like wheat fields, like a dream
where you’re still alive, like a place where our birds
already know how to fly, and they fly and fly until
the sky fades from blue to white and they see you and
tell you I’m sorry I haven’t opened the photo album in
fourteen years I’m sorry for the Halloween I saw your
mother on the porch and avoided her like a ghost I’m
sorry I fell against the shower when I read the newspaper
I’m sorry I didn’t know what colour sable was I know it
now and I’ve been wearing it since you left and it’s
cruel and it’s unfair and I’m sorry I’m sorry I hope the
world is beautiful where you are I hope the world is

Kanika Lawton is a writer, poet, and editor living in Toronto, Ontario. She is an MA student and graduate assistant at the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute, where she teaches on horror films and sex in cinema. She is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of L'Éphémère Review, Social Media Manager of Rambutan Literary, and a 2018 Pink Door Fellow. Her work has appeared in Ricepaper MagazineVagabond City Literary JournalHypertrophic LiteraryLongleaf Review, and Rust + Moth, and profiled in The Ellis ReviewHorn & Ivory Zine, and wildness. She is the author of Wildfire Heart (The Poetry Annals, 2018) and Loneliness, and Other Ways to Split a Body (Ghost City Press, 2018). 

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