Gone Lawn
a journal of word-things
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Gone Lawn 50
buck moon, 2023

Featured artwork, Frank along the Cumbres and Toltec, by Kathleen Frank

new works

Kelli Short Borges


Do you remember that spring you still wore a training bra and I was twig-limbed and the fair came to town and we begged Mama to go, two baby sparrows with black hole mouths, but she shooed us away—not enough shifts at the Shop-N-Save—so we waited for Pa’s drunk-stumble snore, stole quarters from whiskey-poor pockets, snuck out the porch window and we gorged ourselves on candy corn, then sugar-high spent our last quarters on the giant swing, and I’ll never forget the wind on our faces, lifting as we flew.


Yellow sunrise and you Tigger bounce-bounce-bounce to breakfast and the shelter ladies make your favorite pancakes—blueberry nose and whipped cream smile— and Mama says, “Happy birthday, little man,” cuz you’re her guy, the only man she has since you ran from Daddy, and there’s a present right there on the table just for you, the first present you’ve ever had wrapped in shiny red paper, not newspaper that smells like sad and yucky beer, and you wriggle hop squirm and the ladies nod their heads, open it, so you rip the paper and cry, all happy cuz it’s what you’ve wanted so bad since last year when you were only four and just a little kid, an action figure like you saw on T.V, and you hold him high overhead and he swoops up, up and away, and Mama’s watching—tired smile, purple bruised cheek—and you swoop Superman over to Mama, cuz Mama needs him more.

Kelli Short Borges is a writer of essays, short stories and flash fiction. Her work has been published at The Tahoma Literary Review, The Citron Review, Ghost Parachute and The Dribble Drabble Review, among other publications. Kelli is a 2022 Best of the Net and 2023 Best Microfictions nominee. Website: https://www.kellishortborges.com