Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 42
Samhain, 2021

Featured artwork, Dr. Simone with Blue Fire, by María DeGuzmán

New Works


Again: Holidays

If we name this in our heads, will it go away?
A nuanced term for redneck? I am a redneck divided by two. Here lies my tribe. I am redneck / hear me / video spy eyes / bionic ears. Quiet. Night watch. A coil.

The wound of holidays, dressed, then freshened by the reckless.

Uncles corner girls in garages, snorting lines from garage sale signs.
Jingle, jingle, jingle bell rock, out snaked his cock from his winter cutoffs.

Drunk, he slumped in the chair and dozed as guests adjusted their gaze.
Toss a blanket on it and ease the pretending, someone, anyone.

I'm dancing this ghost pen between you and me; I'll write you into place as your face folds into your crane neck.

Snap, I take a shot for a future reality check, decades away.
She says she's glad he's asleep and afraid of what happens as the room petals bloom before his slit eyes.

Great grandfather gets falling-down smashed and lands on his head in the hall.
No one looks except the two girls who swipe blood from his creased head with Kleenex. How to get that man up. That sweet man. That drunk.

Invisibility is an option; they wonder how they developed this ability. They inhabit their own special language and identity outside the eyes and ears of others. Not intimacy. Something else. Ghosts among larger ghosts. Genies. Mystical smoke. See how they float. Tiny healers with Kleenex.

The sky is gray and the firewood casts its twin on the mossy, aluminum siding.
Dead brown leaves crunch underfoot; beneath, dormant creatures sleep.
Across the street, a colorless lake laps thick as tar over its mysteries.
Black-headed geese bob through its wreckage for something; for anything;
for hope.

Someone will test you, each year on this same day. If it hurts, its proof you love them. Everyone loses.

Koss (they, them, she) is a queer writer and artist with an MFA from SAIC. She has work in or forthcoming in Diode Poetry, Five Points, Hobart, Cincinnati Review, Gone Lawn, Bending Genres, Prelude, Anti-Heroin Chic, Amethyst Review, Chiron Review, Spoon River Review, Rat’s Ass Review and many others. They also have work in Best Small Fictions 2020 and Kissing Dynamite’s forthcoming Punk Anthology. Koss just won the 2021 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Award with “My Therapist Sez” and was a finalist in Diode’s 2021 Chapbook Contest. Keep up with Koss on Twitter and Instagram. Her website is koss-works.com.