Birth City

The trees above me should be

palm, not pine.

The foam sea churning

kelp, not driftwood.

Standing on the edge of the

sidewalk, smiling at strangers

who wonder why I even bother.


Trying to find light within

the black hole at the center of

Main Street.


I can’t ground my feet to the

ground anymore.


I don’t think my city

ever wanted me as a child.


There is something sharp

about pain that can’t be exhumed

by the slamming of a door. 


KANIKA LAWTON is a twenty-one year old student and poet from Vancouver, Canada. She will graduate with a Major in Psychology and Minor in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia in May 2017. She was a Gold and Silver Key recipient at the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the national winner of the Draw It! poster category in the 2013 Canada Day Challenge, and has been published in The Rising Phoenix Review, Rambutan Literary, and Red Queen Literary Magazine. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of L’Éphémère Review and serves as a visual arts editor for Venus Magazine.