Gone Lawn
a journal of word-things
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Gone Lawn 54
worm moon, 2024

Featured artwork, Capitol Reef Wash, by Kathleen Frank

new works

Nora Nadjarian

What we were

We waited behind muslin curtains and bathed in pink lamplight. We chewed the gum in our mouths till it lost its lustre, turned grey with hunger. We watched neon lights wink at us all night, turned into contortionists in mirrors. We were Lola or Luna, Layla or Lina, we rhymed, we mimed. Glitzed up and glittery, we performed acts for very tall, very short, very shifty, very heavy, very rich men. When morning came, our faces were always that painful pale of lies, that blur of untitled lives.

The hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger and bigger

He asks if I’d like some rice with the poussin he’s cooking for us and I say no because I’m watching the news and what I mean is yes but I’m not listening because the forests are on fire and birds are singeing. He says I don’t appreciate what he does, and I say the forests are burning. Where? he asks. Everywhere, Portugal, Greece, Spain. He says he will make an excellent paella tomorrow. I think of the times I’ve tried to cook, the taste of burnt toast, burnt meat, burnt tongue. What does poussin actually mean? I ask.

Nora Nadjarian is a poet and writer from Cyprus. Her short fiction has appeared, among others, in the National Flash Fiction Day anthology (UK), Reflex Fiction, The Cabinet of Heed, FRiGG, MoonPark Review, Ellipsis Zine and was selected by Kathy Fish for Wigleaf‘s Top 50 Very Short Fictions of 2022. www.noranadjarian.com