Dissection – Kanika Lawton

I do not know the person I wake up in anymore,
her arms a sorry excuse for the fire line of another’s touch.

This is my second summer without wildfire,
without mountaintops dancing in ambers. God knows

I do not miss a home I cannot cup in my own hands,
trail a path only my mouth understands. Is this too much to

admit so soon, how I am outgrowing a body that cannot
give me what I need? I haven’t been touched in months.

I used to shrink away at the thought. The bar with the pool
tables upstairs, where I confessed, I was once a ghost

drifting away whenever someone tried to love me. I split
myself apart each night but couldn’t bear tenderness I refused

to find for myself. A viper baring fangs in fear of tasting blood,
my nature a study in contradiction. That same night my waist turned

concave mirror, reflecting the want of your hands. Don’t think
I do not re-trace the pinpoints you mapped each night, the places

where you don’t need directions. Ask me why my back became
electricity and I’ll say you must force yourself to stop running.

Ask me what will happen the next time I am unfurled and I’ll tell
you I am already halfway there—keeping me awake, touch a language

I am beginning to forget.

Don’t let me forget.
Don’t let me forget.
Kanika Lawton

Kanika Lawton is a Toronto-based writer and editor. A 2018 Pink Door Fellow and 2020 BOAAT Writer’s Retreat Poetry Fellow, her work has appeared in Ricepaper Magazine, Longleaf Review, and Cosmonauts Avenue, among others. She is the author of four micro-chapbooks, most recently Theories on Wreckage (Ghost City Press, 2020).

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