Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 28
Spring, 2018

Featured painting, Etude Catalan 1 by Jean Wolff.

New Works

Robin White

There's No Fighting Concupiscence

You can't resuscitate a sex doll, nor can you hide its corpse. The doll comes back whence it's slung, glares at you with twice-dead eyes, and says,
I thought we had something special.
And you fiddle with the ridges on your corduroy pants, check that your wife's not home, and wriggle on the couch. Its gaze makes you uncomfortable, and that's okay.
I'm sorry, you say. You were just a toy.
And not without reason it tells you that you kissed it on the mouth, that you held its hand in bed, that you used to call it 'she' and stroke its supple flesh.
I know, is all you can you say. I know.
It sits beside you, hands in its lap, and you don't tell it to leave. It gazes into the floorboards, smiles, and nods at a spot on the burnished wood.
You made love to me there, it says.
You remember that night, but you don't say a thing.
And you gave me a name.
And what a name! You think to yourself. What a name.
You shake your head, and move to the fridge, rooting for a beer. It's cold, and real and you clutch it so tight the can concaves. The sex doll watches you drink, and purrs like a cat.
I love to watch you swallow, it says, and you spit suds into your lap, choking on the memory of sucking on its fingers. You grab a towel to mop the spill, and still don't say a word. The doll runs its hand up your thigh, settles on the patch of spilled beer. Your breath comes more deeply, your eyelids flutter, and you sweat from the back of your neck.
What are you doing? you say.
I'll stop if you tell me to.
And you say, stop.
And it says, no.
And you make love right there on the floor.

You button your pants when it's over. She's lighting a cigarette and tracing a pattern in the stain you've left on her stomach.
You're not real, you say.
That felt real.
I'm married, you say, and mean it.
She blows a ring of smoke which hangs out by the ceiling, adhering to the stucco and never letting go. So what's her name? she asks.
And you open your mouth and you move your tongue and your vocal cords thrum, but they vibrato into nothing because you can't remember the name of your wife.
But your name, you say. Is Alice.
She smiles at you, and your heart is tied like a bow. You love me, she says.
I do, you say.
You pick her up, and wipe her down with a wet-nap and a paper towel.
I love these little baths we take together, she says.
But you don't laugh. We have to leave, you say.
To where? she says.
Just leave. You wrap her in a sheet and you shove her in your car and you hightail it for the coast. The smell of salt water fills your Chevy, the crackle of ocean hitting cliff, the fizzle of it kissing the sand. Alice is silent on the drive, and her eyes are sad when you arrive.
What's the matter? you ask.
All this, she says. Is fleeting.
The waves are loud beneath you both, and they stir your soul and hurt your heart.
How? you say.
She smiles, so sad, and strokes your cheek. I'm a sex doll, Tommy.
You shake your head and try to argue, but she was always quick, and loud.
I'm vinyl, and glue! I'll break for good, and soon enough.
No, you say, and hold her hand. You're embracing on the headland, waiting for a future that isn't there. You stare past her cheek, off the cliff and into the sea. I won't lose you again, you say.
You love me? she says.
Truly, you say.
She leans in close, lips to your cheek. She strokes your neck, and whispers, like a god, Jump!
And you hold her close the whole way down. Your stomach punctures on a rock, your blood is froth between your lips, and Alice, merrily, floats on by. Your broken neck won't turn, but you watch her, like supine garbage, bobbing on a wave. She smiles at you, and before you die, your last thought is,

Robin is a twenty-eight year old writer from New York City, previously published in over a dozen publications.