Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 35
Winter Solstice, 2019

New Works

Philip Elliott

West Queen West, 11:04 p.m.

old man blistered fingers begs for / change / bus shelter lady's throat-cut / screams / two lovers drunk / stumble crunching snow / cosmic mystery of it all unspooling like / childhood / secrets until tingling feet half / numb / in wet boots find the room where / dreams are born & die / where you wait for the moment to / redeem / yourself where you cannot seem to grasp / why nothing feels so alive as 19 // but this is not about how we / lose cells teasing fractured memory / it's about how loneliness / breeds in the / silences / between our condensing breaths / how dark matter / separates / warm bodies from silhouettes / how tenderly the universe pulls itself / apart / it's about the impossibility of these / atoms / why we observe our / selves spinning / eternally / unconnected / it's about a 20 / below November night West Queen / West where this old man pleads for / change / bus shelter lady howls like a / holocaust / in their tiny prayers the / echo / of the world


for Alex

we married in Civic Hall / Downtown Toronto in February / "cold" doesn't half cut it / an eight-minute ceremony / we giggled about later with / tiny handful of friends who / slugged cheap Champagne / before Billy Idol's "White Wedding" / played from portable speakers while we / vowed lifetimes of love / an impulsive decision / maybe / but the right one / & what are we if not / impulsive / I had no more dollars / then than I do now / but I was richer than God / that day / when we signed the dotted / lines & kissed & the future / bloomed like a million / azaleas in your eyes // darling, we've still got / less money than none / the winters would bring Boreas to his / knees & the rent ain't getting any lower // but we married in Civic Hall / Downtown Toronto in February / Billy Idol from the speakers / & I am richer than / God

Philip Elliott's comedic L.A. noir novel "Nobody Move" won the Indie Author Project Award for the region of Ontario. He's editor-in-chief of Into the Void and lives in Toronto with his wife and their spoiled pug.