Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 17
Winter, 2015

Featured painting, Red tears fly in the sky by Iryna Lialko.

Featured Novel Excerpt
New Works

Sarah Dravec

I Invented an Ambulance

It is the middle of the day. I hear the air coming through the vent. I try to listen to the hairs stand on my arms. I am uncomfortable when it is so quiet. I start thinking about something else. Today is my mother's birthday. My mother is afraid of dogs and I don't know why. She will not tell me what happened to her. I want to tell you this, but you are asleep. Can we get a puppy so she will no longer be afraid? I want you to tell me it is silly to be afraid. When you wake, I will fix your dinner: a spoonful of apple sauce, a single piece of wheat bread.

I went to the pool for a while. It was not so quiet there. People were swimming. There was rain but no lightning, so no one was afraid. My head ached when I looked at the blue tiles. I got scared because there was no lifeguard and I knew someone was going to go under. I sat down under the awning so my face would not get wet. A small girl talked to her mother in Arabic. I didn't understand any of it. My brother got in a car accident. It is very hard for me to understand. His dog died. I looked at the pool for a while. I did not swim. There was rain.

It is very cold in our living room. I fixed your dinner. You are not awake, but I am telling you that you will get better like you can hear me. My arms hurt. I am not sure why. It is like I carried a person for a long time. Maybe I carried an animal. When I am very cold, I imagine a bear swimming in freezing water. Then I am not so cold anymore. It is like I carried a person or animal as I swam through the water. Someone needed help. I invented an ambulance so I can help many people at the same time. This way I will not have to worry when my mother is attacked. This way I will not have to worry when someone goes underwater. This way I will not have to worry when my brother and his dog bleed on the side of the road.

Anna in brown and red

above you the light does not go anywhere convincing Anna      I could not see far enough to know      here is a childhood: I squeezed my hair, I screamed      do you ever scream at your own dead cells Anna      you tried so hard not to hear the noise in the room above your own    it was really the voice of the cardinal in the backyard     a female, the fighting of brown and red Anna   we are drab even throughout the bleeding        the truth is Anna I love a woman so I am collecting seeds for her, am making a garden of potential life for her        she took one look at me and said for the love of god finish your pizza and come over here and fuck me      I am drinking her silt, the water she leaves behind less than clean    I am not an innocent cardinal, you would not be proud      how many times have you failed to board the windows Anna      now you wear brown and red and look at me      daughter you say daughter daughter how will you patch the holes we created in one another

How We Died

You drive us home the long way. The moon is full tonight and we want to see it through the trees. A deer runs into the road and you do not slow down. We decide it would be best to walk the rest of the way. Look, the moon has never been so damaged. Look, I have another animal's bone in my shoulder. The moon is cut over and over by the branches until it cannot breathe. I smile at the moon. It is thrilling how much I love you. Your femur is cut over and over by the branches until you cannot walk correctly. You are not afraid. You ask how I felt when we first met. I felt this moon: glowing and certain to implode.

Sarah Dravec is a poet in the NEOMFA. She is a poetry editor for Barn Owl Review and an associate editor for Whiskey Island. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in And/Or, Bone Bouquet, Phantom Limb, Squalorly and others.