Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
About This
How to Submit

Gone Lawn 43
Second New Moon, 2022

Featured artwork, Baby Orange on Fire, by Charlotte Hamrick

New Works

Vida James


what if there's no ever after and all we do is scratch meaning in this dirt, lay down to compost, down to bones no marrow. the landfill of la comuna 13 is the largest urban mass grave, covered in red earth, dug up from construction projects, bodies from a war that's been 50 years running. on hart island in the bronx there's another, pine boxes in a trench, those never claimed by family, the homeless, the indigent. in austin lies a business charging $3000 to turn a pet's ashes into a small colored diamond, red yellow blue and white, a grief changing journey they call it, in a cushion cut. what does it cost to go to heaven, to cross the dark river with coins on eyes, how much spirit money to burn. do the poor have souls, are they left to wander if not interred in a box lined with satin. what if ghosts are just echoes, the energy of a life, a glimpse through the veil between universes, a shimmering thin like the galaxies on oil.

Vida James is a Nuyorican social worker from Brooklyn and an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her writing has been supported by the St. Botolph Club Foundation, Bread Loaf, Tin House and VONA/Voices. She has work appearing or forthcoming in Story, New England Review, Epiphany and elsewhere.