Kanika Lawton

He Says “I Miss How You Taste” and I Text Back “I Know”


He asks how many men I’ve split

myself open for and I say “how

many do you think?” There’s a galaxy

between my legs too vast to swallow

with the body of every man who

tried swimming in its muck.

Skulls inside astronaut suits thrown

back in laughter. He peered up

and licked me like a cracked egg,

eager to please. I could have

crushed him but I’m too nice,

always reaching inertia.



I Dreamt the Ocean Was My Mother


womb as first entanglement,

seaweed umbilical cord all bulb


&  bump & bristle. cut my knee

on coral as if i do not live on my


hands; sand & blood like old

friends, memory something you


swallow when there is nothing

else to eat. she says she is sorry for


trying to drown me, for taking kelp

to my ankles to remind me of my


birthing. i tell her it is difficult to

forgive water & still drink from


her hand. she gives no alms, no

way to soothe this burning. i do not


know what i am doing wrong; my

palms wrinkle with salt as she


pulls me past shore & tells me

even she


cannot forgive such wreckage.


Kanika Lawton is a writer, poet, and editor from Vancouver, British Columbia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Minor in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia, where she served as an editor with the UBC Undergraduate Film Student Association. Kanika is the Editor-in-Chief of L’Éphémère Review, a 2018 Porkbelly Press Micro Chapbook Series finalist, and a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in Rambutan Literary, Ricepaper Magazine, Bombus Press, Vagabond City Literary Journal, and Hypertrophic Literary, among others. She is the author of three chapbooks, including Wildfire Heart (The Poetry Annals, 2018). She was born in 1995 and spends her time stretched between Vancouver, Seattle, and Los Angeles, finding solace in tide pools along the West Coast.

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