Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 27
Winter, 2018

New Works

Liza Libes


She always used to love the outpour of hydrangeas in the spring.
Lucille — she's just another name, desire apprehended as the spark —
Another chaste beginning falls into a fluke.
He only thought — and he could not have known —
Her penchant to remain undressed, undercarassed,
Battalions of syllables stand in shades, and she was always screeching.
Tombstone ornamented with the memories of a previous allegiance.
She always used to gather the chrysanthemums in summer.

He always used to pick his way through autumn,
In the company of dead October leaves and sullied breezes,
Mount a train past foliages dotted painfully with smog,
A bouquet of prickled flowers that he would bring her way,
Sigmund across his thighs, a muddle of civilians who wouldn't get their way,
And she had heard them singing in the summer.
Garden spoiled with a clash of gaudy perfumes caught beneath a sun.
He always used to push his way through winter.

On the balcony she greets a patch of fallen snow,
Angels in the parquet when she left the door wide open
And he had rushed in howling, holly stuffed into his pockets,
Yet another Christmas tune to cherish in soprano,
Her voice a tangled set of uninviting chords
That overtakes his memory —
Ornaments delustred in the sparkle of an everweeping sun.
On the terrace she erases snowflakes on her tongue.

Peering through the window he apprehends a sudden gust,
Portents of another yesterday as he wakes up in her saturnine embrace,
Christmas tree dismembered, in the parlour there remains something of a
Thunder brewing quasi-inconspicuous, the trains delayed, another night,
And she is weeping in her head, another gaggle of imaginary friends —
"You cannot know, my dear, the solipsisms that wax loopy in my bed."
She stares suspicious at the needles gathered by the fireplace.
Glancing at the window he searches for the shadow of her lips.

Before the mirror a caseful of mascara and lipbalms,
Hoarded for the advent of a coming revolution —
"Lucy, that is all inside your mind, you mustn't fret," he says,
Greeted by an outpour of her miscontent —
You cannot know, you do not know, you do not see.
He placed a pair of hands upon her shoulders called reality.
She wipes a swatch of lipstick from her teeth.
Behind the mirror she knows that they are trapped.

The blanket of the glaciery is gone, her only pastime, sole protection,
And she is lying prostrate near the fences, fending off a splash of saints,
Roses, roses in the canopy, their scent too potent for their feints,
Running, running from him in a sinuous malaise,
Convinced that he is likely now another in cahoots with all the madmen,
Calumnious mistakes, wiping from her eyes the stains of tertiary contributions.
He kneels before her in egregious devolution.
The blanket of some cheap rosepetals was once a sign of love.

A treehouse fortress stands erect in the backyard,
Constructed for her childhood fantasies and games,
And there she hides, supplies to last another decade, imagination no less tame,
But now it will not go away,
Basking in the rooftop cracks that let in a sudden gleam of atmosphere,
Cloudless masses of an unknown where they cannot reach her.
He sends her letters from the Netherlands, his vacation home.
In her treehouse fortress she has been known to stockpile all the envelopes.

Twinkled microtonal notes of an antiquated Nicolas Lupot
Cannot drown out the swirling admonitions —
He sends her all the newest pieces on a set of vinyl records,
Yet vestiges of her psychoses wax stronger all the same.
The doctors say it is another hopeless case,
Medications never too conspicuous to send away.
He begs her please to take her pills.
Lucille throws back her head, protest.

A hackneyed fall of rain marks the occasion,
He arrives beneath a burgeoning umbrella,
Voices cackle in his head in a manner quite unlike Lucille's,
Reminder of the afternoons before she went unwell,
Sentiments that drown within the wailings of one Monsieur Chopin,
Procession toward the grave.
A teardrop goes unnoticed in the rain.
The noises that shall never bother her again.

Liza Libes is a poet and a novelist studying English literature at Columbia University. A native of Chicago, she loves everything that New York City has to offer, especially its bookstores. In her spare time you will find her reading T.S. Eliot or John Keats for inspiration.