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

Featured artwork, Batty, by Holly Day.

Featured Book
New Works

Heidi Seaborn

Give a Girl Chaos


Suppose you wake up to his weather
and find yourself bruised by his weather.

Under 600 thread-count sheets,
another morning pursued by his weather.

Silence eludes the hunter. You play opossum.
He slips on a charcoal grey suit—his weather.

Your body knifes into the mattress,
eyes shut & nerves cued to his weather.

Even in the kitchen, slicing a peach,
weighted air exudes his weather,

burns the morning's coffee, scalding
your tongue—now muted by his weather.

Out the window, the sky loses all color
to black, smeared tar of his weather.

Rain dints the house roof percussive
& thunder clears its throat like his weather.

As another storm gathers,
day & night fuse at the horizon—his weather

—Krabi, Thailand 2013

Our bed smells of coconut milk. Outside
the tide washes through splay-fingered
mangrove roots, leaving a lacy stitch

with each wave
as a fisherman heaves
his longboat onto the beach,

An acacia tree shades
the gardenia bush beside
this pink house on stilts,
salt air.

A boy riding a lemon-colored motorbike
drops boxes of peppers
at the kitchen door.
Across the road,

the sign stabbed
into the grass warns
Entering Tsunami
Hazard Zone

Edging the jungle,
a golden girl
nests in the pungent
branches of a mango tree.

She sees beyond
the ocean's edge,
the earth curving away,
pulling the tide like a blanket.

Hypothermia Survival Guide

The ice underfoot stretches, keens, cracks,
with a thunderclap, breaks open swallowing you.

As you surface, your breath rises to chase.
You have one minute to pace it.

I've done this drill. I crawled from a snow shelter
barefoot. My brain a subzero snarl.

Ten minutes to move before muscle and nerve fibers freeze.
Flutter kick to float. Howl like a dying wolf ensnared.

Dead of night. Dead of winter. Dead cold.
Snow shifted into a river around, through my thighs.

In one hour, you'll lose consciousness.
Before that, you'll have forgotten your name.

A girl I barely knew raised to my cry, spooned me
as a lover until my naked body hummed thermal,

my eyes blinked open, lips pinked. Nerves lit.
She checked my vitals, my seared skin.

As your crazy sets in, groan for some body.
Yowl for the sweat, stink of human flesh

to haul you from the suck of dreams pooling,
stripped to a husk, cradled as you burn back alive.

What We Hold On To
—Dungeness Spit, Washington.

The road gathers the fields, harvesting them with each turn.
A barn with silver silos crests the green horizon.
The houses, whose gardens snap sunflowers, rhubarb,
lettuce and stunted corn, are the dream
we each harbor in the folded wing of our palm.

We stem from forest trail to the beach,
skid the sand between our toes,
feel the smooth circles of stone beneath our feet.
This spit is the crooked finger calling the ocean home,
the arm holding our family together.

We sleep on the driftwood,
eat cheese and sausage on Russian rye,
search for agates like four-leaf clovers.
The wind is not enough to unbalance the cranes from their post,
not enough to push us further down the spit to the lighthouse.

When We Write about the Weather

We write about the weather and yes
it's about the weather—
Spring storms lashing

the last life from our winter bones.
We are done with it. Yet

relentless rain soaks your poems.
Hurricanes hurl beyond your tight lines.
Form, borders wash into the sea.

If you could reach into the rush of water,
swirl and bounty of it and pull out a heart,
would it be yours?

Mine is the yellow tugboat
dragging a massive barge into the wind.

Surprising physics of grief.

How ashes float—a sea foam
of cherry blossom confetti,
dusting each wave—
disappear with the current.

But I lie.

My heart's adrift on that current
or maybe it's the rock crab scuttling
sideways along the sea floor searching.

To lose a father is to lose home.

Sometimes, the buoyant mind becomes a river
claims the land impeding its course to the sea.

Follow it to that scrim of land you claim home.
Home, the sea claimed as its birthright.
When all is washed away,
what remains?

This morning our rain ebbed,
weather turned.

Heidi Seaborn is Poetry Editor for The Adroit Journal, a New York University MFA candidate and author of an award-winning debut book of poetry "Give a Girl Chaos {see what she can do}" forthcoming from Mastodon in early 2019. (Preorders can be made here.) Since Heidi started writing in 2016, she's won or been shortlisted for over a dozen awards including the Rita Dove Poetry Prize and published in numerous journals and anthologies, in a chapbook Finding My Way Home and in a political pamphlet Body Politic (Mount Analogue). She graduated from Stanford University.

"Weather" : The New Guard, semi-finalist for 2017 Knightville Poetry Prize
"Beyond" : Construction
"Hypothermia Survival Guide" : West Trade Review, finalist in the 2016 Cultural Center
of Cape Cod National Poetry Competition.
"What We Hold on To" is included in the Washington 129 Anthology (edited by
Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, Sage Hill, 2017).