While I’m not familiar by T.m. Lawson


My skin, its color, the textured Spanish of eyes
My skin, pitted and poxed
My king of snapping teeth and blood gum
My king of whips and chains and cliche gaped asshole
My king of breathlessness and choking
(oh those kings I smothered in red rooms,
not mine, the light hiding my dimensions)
I’m not familiar. A familiar.
And the daughter dog curled in bed with bone
And the red collar with orgasm in heart
And the bird cage shadow
And the spiked heel song
And the homeless native, night crawler in old day
And the animistic tattoos prescribed with hunger
And Hossein’s hill of a belly, the daughter-dog slept on
And the father-boyfriend who held the hair
And the mother-boyfriend who stomped on chests
And the line of fathers, railroading
And the jaws
The parrot silence
The matricide
The cock-craving
The orphan-kin
The rope
The pillow
The blinding candle
The mind fuck



T.m. Lawson is a writer and poet living in Southern California. They have been published in Los Angeles Review, Entropy Magazine, Poets.org, White Stag, The Other Journal, NILVX, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. They are a 2015 Academy of American Poets prize winner, and a 2016 Thompson Prize winner. Formerly the Poetry Editor for Angel City Review, they are now an M.F.A. student at UCSD’s Creative Writing program.


Painting, Pagan October, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.


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