Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 7
Spring, 2012

Featured painting, ©2003 by Lynn Schirmer : Egg.

Featured Excerpt

New Works

S D Stewart

History of a summer song

This music tastes like Texas. Red prairie soil caked on gums smirking with the bigness of the sky. Take me back, take me back, please don't take me back. To concrete rivers filled with too much sun and green algae scum. Gritty winds choked with brown dust shoved toward us from the west. Don't take me back. Our motion ludicrous that summer. Each moment spread open to the heat, parched of feeling. When we'd scraped down to the core, we lay spent, with nothing left to barter. Later I stewed in my cell, crouched as it was on the broken concrete of downtown. Sitting there on winter's sidelines, I plotted a course to drive away summer's bitter taste on my tongue.

Daylight savings spent

Downy woodpeckers peck nervously outside my window in the deepening winter sun shadows. Below, the nightly alley cat showdown commences: a gritty ballet of feline dominance and submission, with realistic sound effects.

Inside, music seeps from dusty speakers. Certain songs represent certain people. The way that note falls after this one, the way melodies crash head-on into cacophony. The way your face changes when you smile, the way the space around you lives and breathes.

The fragility of everything conjures fear, the sense that it could all fall apart in a few otherwise empty blinks. The fragility holds beauty, too, a fractured bitter beauty you can't ignore. It's Fitzgerald's always three o'clock, the dead darkness of winter burrowing away at our souls, searching desperate for another year's rest.

S. D. Stewart reads and writes in a cramped city, even while his mind roams open spaces. Whenever possible he walks in the woods and watches birds.