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

Sylvia Santiago

I can't drink coffee without thinking

about the time we drove to Seattle for the Ben Harper concert. My boyfriend was studying for finals and the girl you were seeing said she wasn’t into “black” music. The I-5 was a river after midnight. Our ears had stopped ringing just enough to appreciate the rough edges of Ben’s voice as it bled from the speakers. We were childhood friends with a history of bad decisions that left no one but us feeling good. You pulled the jeep into a rest area even though neither of us was tired. Our eyes met, reflected, in the windshield. We sat on top of a rickety picnic table with our coffee gone cold. It was a few hours until dawn. Everything was dark around the edges. I turned to ask if we’d make it back in time for our first class and you answered with a kiss. When you pulled me onto your lap, my eager knees knocked our cups to the ground. My mouth tasted of coffee until it tasted of you.

Sylvia Santiago's writing and artwork have appeared in Cutbow Quarterly, Ellipsis Zine, Gasher Journal, HAD, Harpy Hybrid Review and elsewhere. She lives in western Canada. Find her on Twitter @sylviasays2