Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 31
Winter Solstice, 2018

Featured artwork, Batty, by Holly Day.

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Michelle Matthees


I like my own bed. The mattress is newer and hasn't yet conformed to my body. It puts up a mild argument each night, which I win with my exhaustion. The mattress will see things my way eventually, or at least compromise enough that we can continue our cohabitation.

Last night I watched men with no place to sleep, standing in the lee of a doorway avoiding rain. Whom will their bodies argue with tonight? We say nowhere to sleep but that's not true. The body might claim sleep in any space. When it has to, it will argue and win with quashed fast-food containers, an old drapery, really small rocks or one big one.

When I was a child I played a game where my bed was a raft at sea or a carpet flown by balloons that contained everything I needed. That's all it took, bobbing down the river without a doll house or an Easy Bake Oven or a small plastic record player.

What do old men see in the light rain? In my mind I give each one a raft of sleep, a dog or cat beside them if they want, or not, and a deep dream with a fire burning at the corner of one eye, clothes drying on a line. That's all.

Michelle Matthees's poems can be found in numerous journals including Baltimore Review, J Journal, Memorious and Superstition Review. New Rivers Press recently published her first collection of poems, "Flucht".