Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 36
Spring Equinox, 2020

Featured artwork, Broken Tulip, by Andrew Davis.

New Works

Kim Malinowski

Dumpster Grove

She talks to fairies by the dumpster. All of them twinkling and bobbing to the night cadence of crickets and half-moon. She gets lost, trash bags abandoned. Captured by the hymn of passing fairy feet, her eyes shimmer, her skirt a bit tattered, fingers stained. Even here they call her, catch her gaze. They sing, breeze of wings. The bags leak fairy mead. They splash, mend her skirt in thanks. Smell is there—but with their gaze it is sweet, not the tang of rust and decaying meat. Shimmer and moonbeam, rhythm of earth's pulse, they tangle and weave. A beckon, music stops. Crickets, only crickets. She lifts the trash bags into the dumpster. Hums to pounding fairy feet.


I make flower crowns out of dandelions and buttercups, steal blossoms from a star magnolia, staring at its symmetry. I lie out in the grass, dangle bare feet from swing, eat strawberries, the juice dribbling down my fingers. Sitting on the porch, I remember the equinox sun, lemonade, moss, warming wind, silence only melting snow can make. Teach me wisdom, patience. Grass grows millimeter-by-millimeter, how do I measure my growth? Wisdom or freckles? Creases in my brow? Winter-worn I slide off sweater. Measure sunshine and breathe in fresh rebirth. Sing me ancient cadences—spring and light. Whisper me promise of heat and storm—trees and self-reborn.


I taste the old gods in the bloodshot clay around us. I worry a frayed corner of the worn blanket we're sitting on. It's familiar, like the man in front of me. He traces "beloved" on the freshly placed granite as the sun glows tender, giving his complexion sudden warmth. Spring has come, doesn't feel like it yet. Chill in the air, chill in our hearts. "It's not fair—" he murmurs. "We tell their stories—they live forever within us—with the stars," I say—no relief. His hazel eyes glance at me, as if for the first time he recognizes me. "Say them." I chant the prehistoric words. He curses and mutters to himself, but I know he is following along with the timeworn phrases. "You really loved this one then?" I ask. His eyes splinter, shards fall everywhere. He is breathless, enduring, surrounded by ancient stones we should have been under. I capture a tear in a glass jar and seal it. "Keep it. I don't believe in magic anymore." I stare at this man that I have loved and laid with— I would do just that. He would need the salt water for protection, to remind him of love, to breathe again in the years, decades to come.

Kim Malinowski earned her B.A. from West Virginia University and her M.F.A. from American University. She studies with The Writers Studio. Her chapbook "Death: A Love Story" was published by Flutter Press. Her work was featured in Faerie Magazine and appeared in Mythic Delirium, Black Poppy Review, Mookychick and others.