Gone Lawn
a journal of word-things
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Gone Lawn 55
strawberry moon, 2024

Featured artwork, Lost for Words, by Andrea Damic

new works

Lori D'Angelo

How She Died

She wore success like a red coat, big eyed and brazen. Smiling in pictures. If she had been a woman from another time, she would have been a flapper. She wouldn’t go out like the rest of us, nasal cannula in the nose, suction catheter in the lungs, old and ailing. Instead, it would be an inglorious implosion. We sit in lawn chairs waiting for the grand finale. But it’s just a popping sound. I feel like we’re still in line for the circus, but the elephants are gone now. What’s left for us to look up and wonder at, now that the tents have left town? But, still, we stand here in dew dusted wet grass, with just a few matches left and a pile of burned-out sparklers. We keep expecting someone official like a referee in a black and white uniform to tell us, Step right up, it’s not over. The band’s still here, and they’ll be back on stage at any moment for an encore. But instead there is nothing, but the sound of crickets and the moonlight. And, yet, we can’t believe she’s really gone.


My husband wants to visit the park where he scattered his parents' ashes. But I don't want to go. Because, once ashes are picked up by the wind, they're gone. They started there, and then they went. Dust to the sea and sky. Our bodies only temporal. And, some nights, I lay up wondering which method of body disposal you'll choose. I want to ask, but this doesn't seem like a do-it-over-email question. I think of the spiderweb the other day on the driver's side of my car, which began to detach as I drove. The web coming torn, the spider startled, crumpling. By then, it was already epilogue. Still, I attempted. I stopped mid-road. The spider scurried, expiring behind my side-view mirror. And that was how it ended. If you die first, just know that I'll remember: That somehow you cast your spider silk strong enough to hold me. You let me stay.

Lori D'Angelo is a grant recipient from the Elizabeth George Foundation and an alumna of the Community of Writers. Her first book, a collection of short stories, is forthcoming from ELJ Editions. Recent work has appeared in All Existing Literary, Bullshit Lit, Chaotic Merge, Ellipsis Zine, Idle Ink, Litmora, Rejection Letters, Thin Veil Press and Voidspace. Find her on Twitter and Bluesky @sclly21 or Instagram and Threads at lori.dangelo1.