Gone Lawn
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Gone Lawn 49
flower moon, 2023

Featured artwork, Shift VI, by Catherine Skinner

new works

Kimberly Silva

The Kitchen Chronicles

1.Grand Canyons Are Blind

The lonely hours slide by like a greasy lake from a spoon. Held captive in the kitchen, she wanders through human size, carnivorous orchids. They lean against the sink and the counters. Scare her with their sharp teeth and blood-spitting mouths. She decides to play their game. Moving through them, she opens her mouth wide, leans into the speckled blood that splatters on her face. Their laughter is like poison darts; her eyes fall backwards in their sockets, leaving grand canyons in their place. Her iron neck is rusty; it takes twenty years to turn her head. Creaking iron wails its rusty song. She opens her mouth to spit blood in her very own kitchen.

2. No Conductor for the Trolley

What to do, what to do? A trolley full of tourists weaves its way through the kitchen. It rattles ramshackle, making a horrible racket. It occurs to her that she is supposed to be the conductor. But where to hop on? The tourists stick out their tongues; they throw greasy wads of trash, cluttering the kitchen. There is no entrance to the trolley. No way to get on. She’s left to dodge the squeaky contraption the best she can.

The orchids seize their chance; they press against her. This way, they’ll own her, slowly and with pressure rising, giving her an orgasm to shake the house. She won’t allow it! Hands to ears, stop it! When she was little, Jesus said, don’t you dare. To escape, she shrinks down to the size of a pea. The orchids and Jesus fight each other; sirens blaring. She stumbles around the table legs, singing in ragged breaths, designed to fool them into thinking she’s just fine.

3. A Tough Snake

Her throat becomes a tunnel for mining; the roof just collapsed, leaving the miners with dust in their hair and eyes. They smile at her as if they’re biting into a tough snake. Wag their tongues. We only want to look under your iron skirt, they say, what’s so bad about that? Cough, cough. Achew! It’s time that you grew, became a woman—we can show you how. On the floor of the kitchen, the miners make a pit; big enough to cook her in, to make her a real stand up beast. One with no inhibitions whatsoever. Timidly, she steps into the pit, her iron skirt cracking in two. As she screams, the miners invade her soft innards, pull them out like snakes, then rearrange them before stuffing them back into her. Turn her into a kick ass Jezebel.

4. Mindfulness Meditation

A dirty sunset rises in the kitchen. It’s made of linoleum tiles. Green and yellow, they’re infected and filled with pus. Maggots writhe on the floor. A kick ass Jezebel, she sits in the middle of them, eyes closed in mindfulness meditation, accepting this rite of passage, one she must endure. All the judges of Strong Women say so. Volcanos erupt and lava flows onto her, steaming and orange-black. Silver angels appear; they point and laugh as if they’re seated in a colosseum. She must fight a tiger. But she gives her body to the big cat, she’s a gladiator lying motionless, allowing herself to be eaten so the tiger can live. The tiger is made of cum from the other gladiators. It mauls her. She gives birth to more maggots. The tiger eats the maggots and becomes a ball of twine, rolling out the exit. She howls, noooo, come back! But the gate closes behind him. Seeing her confusion, the orchids giggle, snorting into their hankies.

5. Moon Juice

She reaches for the moon, asks her pig for a leg up. The moon liquefies and turns to juice, pouring onto her, transforming her into a chicken. She struts around the kitchen, her eyes round and full of bullets. The bullets fire; rapid fire like ghosts spitting out crumbs from a devil’s cake. They bounce off the walls and hit her in the head. Rubbing her head, she cries, “Oh mercy me, I’ll never understand how violence can be so redemptive, but it is! It’s a blessing from hell!” Shakes her head at the mess, says, “Oh moon, you and your flaccid pile of goo.”

6. Keeps Moving

The sun sleeps in its cage. Children poke it with a stick. Annoyed, it turns its back on them. It’s waiting for the moon to get its act together, to blow up like a balloon. The sun goes and rests on a clown’s face, who crumbles into a pile of ghosts. The ghosts are drunk on stars and chickens. Stars speak in silver foil; they fool everyone who think they’re diamonds. A devil leaves his office to glue them to the sky. She turns her face away and all the trees bend and sway, the hurricane of her turning causes them to break; leaving tree rubble; bloody stumps all over the kitchen. She glues her feathers back on, keeps moving. On alert for the next phase of the initiation.

Kim Silva lives with her husband and their rescue dog, Zelda. A visual artist, she has painted for thirty-five years; now she spends her time writing. She holds an MFA degree from Savannah College of Art and Design and a BFA in Writing and Painting from Vermont College. Her writings have or will appear in publications like Fleas on the Dog, MONO, Poor Yorick, BarBar, Unbroken and LitBreak. She has been nominated for a PushCart prize and shortlisted for a fiction prize in Flash Fiction Online. She is always working with prose poems.