Once my best friend tripped on acid at 2AM at UC Berkeley with her boyfriend
and she saw two black blobs attack each other when in reality some guy beat
another guy over the head with a baseball bat and what is that supposed to mean
except fuck reality and fuck everything that has to do with trying to escape it.

Her drug dealer is the sweetest girl I’ve ever met and acid tabs are smaller than
I thought and the last time my best friend tripped she took a marker to her arms
and drew vines all over and sent our group chat three dozen caterpillar emojis for
every two dozen roses and what is that supposed to mean except if nature takes me
back will I finally be good and we are not God’s best creation.

Listen, I didn’t drink the jungle juice but I still spilled it all over my white shorts.
I bought the Crown Royal that got you pissing in the neighbour’s lawn and I still
feel the stench in my bones. When that girl told you to stay true to your namesake
and get eaten by lions I laughed because I was supposed to be a Leo but I was born
three weeks early and I still want to close my jaws around your neck and bite.

I tried to do everything right. I let you stay in my bed and saw you go through the
five stages of grief without me. I cried because I didn’t want to be sober watching
all of my friends filet themselves like gaping fish. I am the catalyst for everything
when I should be the ash everyone always forgets to cough back up. Am I still to
blame for that night. Why do my hands still feel like blood.

You kissed me hard and I let my mouth slip away when I felt your growing
desperation and what is that supposed to mean except I want love that destroys
me fully not partially and I want to destroy you more.


Kanika Lawton is a poet and editor from Vancouver, Canada. She received 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. She is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of L’Éphémère Review, edits for Venus Magazine, and is the Community Manager of The Murmur House. Author of SANTO CALIFORNIA (2017) and a 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold and Silver Key recipient, Kanika’s work has appeared in The Rising Phoenix ReviewRambutan LiteraryRicepaper MagazineBombus Press, and PUBLIC POOL, among others. Ocean-bound since birth, Kanika can be found on Twitter @honeyveined, her website, or trying to find solace in tide pools along the West Coast.