Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 46
autumnal equinox, 2022

Featured artwork, The City, by Koss

New Works

Natalie Cortez-Klossner

Moon-Girl & the case for letting go
of people-pleasing
An adaptation of the Andean myth,
The Boy Who Rose to the Sky


While the higher and earthly worlds are connected, they rarely interact. Still, we must not forget that there's love, or at least attachment and obsession powerful enough to bridge the two worlds. This was the case when a young potato farmer ached for the Moon. It was a time when the Moon was young and curious about Earthlings: human luck molding from nowhere and insignicant events that suddenly immortalized history. And when Earthlings least expected it, the Moon tumbled out miniature disasters to see how humans conspired to unravel them. The Sun was unaware of the Moon's antics, and they'd keep it that way for as long as possible. The Moon was a mess, adding a dash or margin into the burden of Earth and to the potato farmer's enamored grace.
One of these mini disasters took the form of stealing the harvest from the pastures of a potato farmer couple. The couple blamed their son for the thieves, as he'd often dream when he was meant to guard the potatoes. One night, the Moon descended onto the field in the body of a dozen princesses to playfully yank the potatoes from the soil. How does one describe the impish urge to cause havoc before owing back into the sky?
The son woke up from his slumber and cried out, "how could these maidens be the thieves all along?" His heart was struck with chaotic lust as he ran up to the princesses and tried to catch them as they flew back into the celestial river. At the last moment, he grabbed one of the girls and held onto her tightly. Moon-Girl hoped to untangle herself, but a boy's naively enamored grip was too much to withstand. "Marry me," he demanded. Moon-Girl shook her head, promising that she'd return all the stolen potatoes.
"I don't want to live on Earth," Moon-Girl said and that was the truth but the boy promised the jewels of Earth, and she soon gave in. Moon-Girl's conviction lacked strong roots.
Moon-Girl told the boy that his parents couldn't see her, for the higher and Earthly worlds weren't meant to interact so closely. At first, he listened. The boy confined Moon-Girl to a shed at the edge of the land, far from his parent's house. Moon-Girl soon began to feel pity for the young man, which she easily mistook for love. As months passed, the potato farmer told Moon-Girl that he'd bring her to a shed across the pasture to keep hiding. She believed him. At nightfall, with only the dim light of the constellations, the boy tricked Moon-Girl into entering his parents' home instead. The young potato farmer's parents, stunned by Moon-Girl's glossy hair and blinding clothes, kept her locked up in the house for fear that a thief would take her away. She resided for years in a foreign desert, crying her immortal spit.

Many years passed and Moon-Girl gave birth to a baby girl.
One day, as proof that she'd never return to the higher world, Moon-Girl told the family she covered herself in a potion that prevented immortals from flying. She gave the family the same potion promising it'd give mortals the ability to fly. Moon-Girl asked the family, in return, to let her take nightly strolls through the countryside, to see her sisters from below. The family agreed and when the baby was asleep, the family celebrated their recent harvest with corn beer.
In the drunken state the family found themselves in, Moon-Girl exclaimed, "let's test the potion," leading everyone outside. Moon-Girl walked into the field and pointed to her planted feet. "You see," she exclaimed. The family cheered, but before stepping back inside, Moon-Girl lifted herself off the field and effortlessly, effortlessly fled Earth with hollow velocity. The potato farmers pushed their bodies upwards to fly as the poison promised but their feet were planted into the soil. Moon-Girl cried back to the potato farmer, "hope your eros untold," and she rose above.


Natalie Cortez-Klossner was born in Lima, Peru and raised in the D.C. suburbs. Currently, she lives in Chicago where she's a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. You can find her writing at anataliecortez.com