Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 45
Summer solstice, 2022

Featured artwork, Page Blue, by Güliz Mutlu

New Works

Mercedes Lawry

The Small Librarian

The small librarian smelled like lilacs. She moved quietly through the rooms like whispers, her long brown hair rippling down her back. The computer men called her The Butterfly. They came each day to escape the cold or rain, to find our how much crazier the world had become, to send a message to a brother not seen in nine years. They came because there was no where else to go through the long hours of the day. The Butterfly knew them by name, nudged gently when she had to wake someone. Did not sniff or roll her eyes or act like these men did not belong here. Sometimes the small librarian read books to children in the room next to the computers. Large bright elephants and giraffes and pandas stretched across a wall as if too joyous for their surroundings. There were big red pillows for the children to sit or curl up on and close their eyes and lose themselves to the story. The small librarian knew the men looked with envy at the children's room. How they would have loved to burrow among the pillows and listen to the musical voice of The Butterfly and remember how imagination had once soothed their souls.

The Luminous Psychiatrist

The Luminous Psychiatrist might have joined the circus except for a set of circumstances that had turned her curiosity toward the mind rather than the loop of limbs. She was never one for schoolwork but she took a deep breath and plunged into books and study and critical thinking and came out with a tumble of letters after her name. The Luminous Psychiatrist became known for her expertise in matters of memory. She was adept at excavating them, unleashing them, detailing their convolutions. She guided her patients through tears, resistance and relief. She did not often reflect on the circumstances that had led her down this path — her own memories now. She'd fallen in love with a damaged man, a trickster, a master at charade, a person who'd begun to reveal himself as soulless and only after her heart had been broken, her spirit crushed, did she come to understand there was a pathology within this man. She came to be obsessed with the intricate ways of the brain, the glitches, the absences, the circuitous pathways. And though she gained substantial knowledge over the years of education and practice, she failed to find a balm for her suffering which had certainly faded, calmed and retreated, but never entirely disappeared, but sat like a scar to be occasionally stroked by a finger.

Mercedes Lawry has published short fiction in several journals including Gravel, Cleaver and Blotterature. She was a semi-finalist in The Best Small Fictions 2016 and was nominated twice for Best Microfiction 2021. She’s published three poetry chapbooks and was nominated for Pushcart seven times. She lives in Seattle.