To the Shadow that Watches Me Sleep, Breathes on My Neck, Lives in the Corner of My Eye – T.m. Lawson

Tonight everyone forgot me:

my nightshade teeth was a story

brothers told themselves

at 24-hour diners, guilty

of loving.

I smoke indigo,

shaping a creature

who stares

at the back of my head

when I try to sleep.

Your constant underhiss,

eyes pressed into my ear


for a break, a single


as I clutch onto any warm body

for protection against

this cool vapor

staring at me

in the dark.

If I fed you

silence, we would both

be gluttons.

If I fed you

fire, only I would get burned.


I read

(somewhere) to keep secrets

grind sage to your teeth.

It tastes like spirits

who knew my name.


Next to a warm pile of human,

freshly fucked,

I want to think I’m touching

the face of God. It was

you, once.

Still you whisper the virtues

of nightshade

of fruitless trees,

of being a snake

in a keyless garden, forgotten

locks complete. I admire your floral

tongue. Liars

could make songs.

If they tasted you,

they would fear you.





T.m. Lawson worked at Magic Door IV Bookstore in Pomona, California,
and got paid in used books (and it was totally worth it.) They are currently
at UCSD’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, pursuing the Great American
Graphic Novel.

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