Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 40
Spring Equinox, 2021

New Works

Franziska Hofhansel

An Extraordinary Example of 21st Century Statecraft

If I wanted consolation I would go I think to the river in North Pawtucket with the baseballs swimming around like knives and regretting as I do having borne witness to such catastrophe, having loved you all my life with no knees. Pardon my extremities. I will fish the baseballs out of the water with red lining and I will love you still with half an eye and trousers undone, the seams splitting as they do at the knee while I fish the bodies out of the water, yes, I lay them to rest under the sun, writhing as they do for the batting cage.
Once I was nineteen and wanted only simple things. A red car, a green knife, a fish to fry at a mother's wake. Once my lover tied her fishnets to a tree. Once my lover veers around fishing the stars out of her nostril till no one sees.
Oh if I wanted consolation I would not go to you, I would not touch the glass like this for the lake would scream so and once holy I will desert you, do what you want my love with your simple things, have your way with the stars, the dollar bill clogged in one nostril and let me go to the river, let me bury the bodies in peace. I will take my chances with the batting cage, the tapestry, the white lines sprawled across the sky Like clouds you say No I say Like knives.

Sorry to Miss You

Oh, but that bird. That stupid beautiful bird. A bird like that, they ought to lock her away, praise lobotomy, exorcism, violent peace. I ought to brave the pigs, say fuck it, ditch the car, run to the yard and hold my arms out shivering, tell that bird I was an angel once, hysterical in my own right and damned to contrite benediction, good behavior, polite submission. I am in love now. I am going to crash someone's beloved jeep into a vacant church, tell Jesus thanks but no thanks, I'll take my chances with the good Lord and his pristine ways and I will drive right off a cliff, feel the sand with glass fingers and copper toes and I will thank the water, the wind, I will scream just like that bird, I will not go quietly, I will carry you far away from here to the birch tree on Mineral Springs, strut by the jewelry store, gallery, fake diner with the cup of stars. I will open my jaw to that blue sky, slit the teeth off a cloud, I will leave you alone here by the wooden stars and you will thank me someday. Someday, you will thank me.

Franziska Hofhansel is a writer living in a cricket-infested basement in Galesburg, Illinois. She likes trains.