Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 35
Winter Solstice, 2019

New Works

Jennifer Woodworth


Who could imagine this calm, blue sea throwing skyscrapers at boys on beaches on the other side of the world in anger,

passion, both. You play a good game of it; in Your easy, self-effacing way, You say, I'm no match for a knuckleball like that, as if it weren't Your knuckleball all along, while I consider the fact that this dangerous pitch has come in the shape of an endlessly wide thirty-foot tall wall of water

barreling over this innocent or guilty island, and when the single body of ten-thousand teenage soldiers slams its boots into the sand, the wall continues its crush and destruction. You don't stop it. The wake behind the wave rolls from trough to surge. Thousands of held breaths are the last.

At least the men carried the good fortune to be green, never to have thought of this end-of-the-world beach, which I say is Yours and why

hundreds of ball games; the beaches; a Ferris wheel; the girls; a bright warm sunny day just like this one passes before the young soldier now—the life he's suddenly begun to look over with gratitude, as well as, as that last breath comes, his never-dying hope; still,

he's no match for that cruel knuckleball You threw, carving out a curve of life from the sea and half the earth. And for a moment he has a choice; he turns or he doesn't turn; he swings the bat, or he lets it drop; his desire rolls in

and You, like a thief, steal his pleasure as he runs through and through the moments of his life, the memory or the never-yet brings the all and the sense of lover—

who knows or doesn't know—and in the grace and rush of gathering her up, his kiss, deeper than the sea, carries them both either way, and apart. Your fault.

Lot's Wife

Sometimes I don't understand you sometimes you go all cryptic on me, sending angels or hell in a single gesture how am I to know I don't have your code—I don't have an invertible matrix to divide you by to invert and multiply—though I do know your hand, how you've carried me in your palm, so I've seen your matrix—importantly singular, determinant zero, your solutions not one bit one unique—Jesus! Wait, did I say that one way already, the other or

which is way when you think terrifying about it, singularity—Sin City for sure, sulphuric smoke stretches down from the sky to the cities, collapses into fire and what-is-it explodes in the marrow. Each grain of salt melts into orange and it was here on this burning plain when I looked back that I lost you.

Jennifer Woodworth studied creative writing at Old Dominion University. She is the author of the chapbook, "How I Kiss Her Turning Head," published by Monkey Puzzle Press. Her stories and poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Citron Review, Bending Genres Journal, The Eastern Iowa Review, *82 Review, The Inflectionist Review and The Raw Art Review, among others. She knows how lucky she is anytime she gets to write. @Fishclamor, Twitter