Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 25
Summer, 2017

New Works

Brittany Hailer


For Molly

Once, the moon showed me her jagged belly, told me how she broke off into space and got stuck. She became mother of the tides and water after that. She pulled at the earth, so willful to influence anything, anything. She became barren spinning around and around in stardust.

Moon told me how she watched the world, who used to be her, teem with green life and war. She missed the earth and its dirt, its blood. She slammed her hand so hard on the table, her silver twinkling hair fell loose and spilled across her shoulders. I could tell she was embarrassed so I laughed and reached for her red tortoiseshell compact. I pulled her hair back, powdered her nose. She traced my eyebrows, my lips, my cheeks with her fingers then carefully turned my head West. She pointed to the earth rising in the black void and whispered, Sister.

Then the moon got serious.

She sat me down next to her vanity and said earth's man conquered her because he could. She opened her silk robe and traced her belly scar again. Spread her legs and showed me his footprints. She told me that I will inherit the face of a woman who knows. Told me that man will hunt me for my mystery, too.

She told me to be careful, sent me home with a silk bag full of moonstones to swallow for armor.

Her stars greeted me at the doorstep and helped me back to earth. They asked why it is earth-women are always hiding, always meeting by moonlight. I told them because men are afraid of witches. I hoped to make them laugh, but they only nodded gravely.

And I swear to you, the night I was cut by a man in a hollowed-out garage, I heard the sky, the stars, the moon whisper:

Brother, please.

Maybe they thought they'd fix me, warn me, stop him, stop men, break the cycle, break the moon, the phases, the ocean. But they didn't and I was only an earth-woman.

Didn't they know?

It was him I carried around like a belly full of stones.

Brittany Hailer writes: "I have taught creative writing workshops in a women's rehabilitation center and at the Allegheny County Jail. I am a freelance journalist for Public Source and MFA Program Assistant at Chatham University. My work has appeared in Tiny Donkey, Barrelhouse, Word Riot, among others.

"I earned my MFA in nonfiction from Chatham University.

"I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."