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.

Hold Close My Kidney in a Handbag or File Folder

by E Kristin Anderson

(after The X-Files)


Inside the body:        a horror       a single suspect to pull away with silver forceps     
a shimmer of misadventure to leave        in a jar.       Tonight I’d like to reach inside
my chest cavity and see who else is there—      some dark traveller       to collude             

with my anatomy.       There are things we can’t bury     in the muck of our cities.       
Shining wet:    the monsters we let  live so long as they remain unseen     strange lips
sucking bloody at our fingers.        Scully, do you see this—       the physiology

of belief      the sanguine draw of coincidence?       Doctor Scully         if you could
reach inside me           would you find a freakish marvel?      Would you remove it?   
Perhaps these are the discoveries best left for your autopsy table.       I’ll wait.

I’ll try to see through the eyes of the grotesque            pink mouths profane     to hold
nightmares       dipping below pavement       demanding flesh for flesh.      Multiplying.   
Still:     Put those parasitic arms at my waist.     Love genetic mutiny.     Find hands to

host the river            shout animal in the sewer.           We melt disasters into earth—
a personal apocalypse       a missive sent to sea.         Slip your evidence        yellow-eyed   
into a drawer.      Scully, my data is still in my viscera:      an obsession entirely mine.

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 nine 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), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press, forthcoming). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at and on twitter at @ek_anderson.