Gone Lawn
a journal of word-things
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Gone Lawn 51
harvest moon, 2023

Featured artwork, Cheeseburger Picnic, by Chris Mars

new works

Tia Cowger

For Jackie

I ask for a word, and she gives me a murky sea. Greener than blue, paint on our hands is wet, wet, wet, and I don’t know what to do with a throat full of algae. Bioluminescent rip-tide of waves swelling at ebbing feet as she dances the shores near an opalescent midnight.

I drowned in my last life; kelp followed me to this one—perhaps a siren is only so if they love water more than life. I don’t know what to do on this craggy raft. We’re lost, I finally say, looking onto still waters. She looks at the moon like it were an emerald before saying, Nice night for it.

For Elizabeth

I ask for a word, and she gives me a beast, clawing lines against my new mouth. My first father wasn’t mine, she says turning inside out to accommodate the teeth. This isn’t what I meant; fur falls from my lips as I speak. We are not hunters anymore—time gave us back the soft skin. Then you should be more specific, she says, holding onto the crust as the room shifts like clockwork. Our jaws are stained in the fading hour. A ground too old to be ours shakes; we are alone.

Tia Cowger is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with minors in Creative Writing, Studio Art, and Entrepreneurship. At twenty-eight years old, she's still trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. Currently she enjoys working with her hands in areas such as gardening, painting, quilting, pottery, and poetry.