T.m. Lawson

Social Anxiety Disorder

my kind be like a xxxx dog
seeking marrow, or x shy worms
xxxxx home away from
the fritter of loud sunflowers

the sun remembered
they were born and tongued them
with joy.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx My kind

is fertile, under
the surface of black
soul; xxxxxxxxxxx a squirming
presence xx of xxxxxxxxxxxxxx never
say that, my body chained with
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx insulated sound

I only have black moon fears to report
plug my eyes xxxxx with new age dirt
close my pretend – petals to human error

I watch xxx the sunflowers
make love x with radiation x and survive,
and xx never x have to ask xxxxxx why
/xxxxxxxxxxx how.

Trick Domestic

Tame the feral carrots, tame
The loose apple and mate it, cross it

See a bus bench with Smokey the Bear’s face,
Hugging two white campers,
Handing out selfies and hashtags.

Collect living avatars of connection:
Cats, dogs, birds. Graduate
To pythons, lions, and boars.

There is no joy in sitting on
Pulses unless they bite back
To remind you of sharp life.

But before they are brought to heel
Leashed, bridled, bought, sold,
Trash their ivoric potential,

Share your bed with teeth. Daydream
Riding a mammoth, rein in tusked
Death thanks to vaccinated imaginations.

Gaze into those decisive golden eyes
That know no hesitation, or idol,
Like the turning of moon to sun.


T.m. Lawson is a writer and poet living in Southern California, studying at UCSD’s MFA Program for Creative Writing. 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. You can find more of their writing at tmlawson.com.

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