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

Madison Zehmer

Ex Nihilo

Make it into dusk—no—make it into ghost food—Turn the switch off and on and off and on. Wonder what underworld breathing feels like to the drowned. I wish I could tell you. Watch ruins like people combust into steam. Synthesize me—listen to fumes—what else can you do while the world burns but look. Imagine skin more permanent than oak. Tape it to yours—you missed that corrosion feeling, how decay replaces touch, taste. Our parasitic years ignited in their bellies. Loosen the lock unless it speaks to you or let it be. Does it matter.

I remember when you drank pesticide—rewarded hubris—as your insides melted you still sang to me. Lullaby of mortals. Is that all we are. We know gods are cruel—we know how they judge us like meat. And we still hope for their pardon. We fear its carnage, fear that border—being and passing. Being and passing. Responding to howls with blessings. Have you confessed. Admit it—

Madison Zehmer is a poet and wannabe historian from North Carolina. She has published and forthcoming work in the Santa Ana River Review, Ghost City Review, Drunk Monkeys and more. Her chapbook, "Unhaunting," will be released by Kelsay Books in 2021.