Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 7
Spring, 2012

Featured painting, ©2003 by Lynn Schirmer : Egg.

Featured Excerpt

New Works

Kayla Roseclere

12 Steps to Nowhere


There once was a curious Dragon-Hearted Boy that breathed fire. Electric veins sizzling under the surface of molten lava skin, crackling to get free. Each time he touches you are branded. Imagine this: porcelain forced to plastic, a curving caricature of what once was is now: Your arms. Your legs. Your beautiful butterfly shaped knees. Your singer's throat.

Imagine this: You Are Cooked From The Inside Out.

Now open your eyes.


There is a train underwater and I wait for you. No. Did I say I? I mean You. You wait for Him. There is limited time and you don't know how to breathe. You are not a fish. Your lungs require oxygen, dammit! Luckily there seems to be a Fishbowl strapped carefully to your head, shielding you. And you are safe. For now.


Never mind, you're not okay. Nothing is okay. There is this boy with Coral Reef eyes throwing rocks at Your Fishbowl, Your Helmet, Your Life Supply, and somehow this is strangely symbolic but you don't really think about that because your eye are busy tracing the newly formed cracks on the right side of your Life Supply Helmet. Great. Now, when was this train supposed to get here again?


I want you to listen carefully: You Are Not The Only One Who Hurts. You hear me?


Now stand up and pick your teeth out of my china. There's blood everywhere.

The guests will arrive at eight.


The Boy In The Tree is watching you, only he is not a boy, he is a bird. He collects pieces of your hair when you're sleeping, but you never notice because you tore down all your mirrors long ago after your skin became branded and you melted plastic all over your new Ikea furniture, you sad, silly thing. At least the nightstand was saved. That's the important part. You can hear The Boy Who Is A Bird Who Does Not Exist singing to you from his tree, and now it's time to do something you'll either regret now or later, but we all die anyway so you might as well get on with it. So, come on. Bleed.


This is the part where everything starts to make sense. You think your tongue tastes like sawdust and you're right. You think all of your clothes are too big and you're right. You think your meals are too small and you're right. You think there's a hole currently being drilled into the side of your head and BINGO!


Just because he says he's sorry doesn't mean he'll stick around to help you shampoo the blood out of your carpet. (Sorry, I meant wine. Just tell them it was wine.)


When the story goes On And On And On. And Then. You can't ever just fucking stop. You should've learned this. You're The Hero(ine), The Martyr, The Chess Piece, The Branded One. You can't just leave right in the middle. You should've known this when you signed up. No one really wants this role, they just want the attention. Well, all eyes are on you, but I didn't say they'd be friendly.


You're smoking now. Yes, you smoke. There is a cigarette poised between your fingers and you're supposed to take a drag so, do it. Hurry, before the plastic melts on it and you have to start again. God, you never do learn, do you? Does God ever learn? When you inhale there is fire and you know that this is how The Dragon Boy feels each and every time he breathes, so now each and every time you breathe there must be smoke, too. Maybe this makes you closer or maybe this makes you pathetic, you don't know. I know. And the truth is you've never been so far away.


One day The Dragon Boy burns down The Boy Who Is A Bird Who Does Not Exist's tree and you cry. Everything smells of burnt hair and the sky has no sound. There is no bird to sing to you anymore and your hair grows back, slowly. Or all in one night (We can't really tell, either.) You are alone and the boy with the Coral Reef eyes that threw rocks at your Fishbowl air supply returns, only he is throwing rocks at you and this time they hurt. And your skin, your stupid branded skin, it cracks.

Imagine: When it cracks light pours through and it swallows everything, your tiny pathetic house, your only nightstand, your new hair, your arms, your beautiful butterfly shaped knees, your singers throat. All of it. Gone.

Or so you think.


Imagine: There is a bird. That is, there is The Boy Who Is A Bird Who Does Not Exist and he is everyone you've ever known, or everyone you thought you ever knew (because they do not exist, remember?) and he is singing the most beautiful song you've ever heard. And he lands on your arm. Your arm that is no longer melted plastic. Your beautiful butterfly shaped knees quiver and they are new. Your singers throat can sing and no longer smells of battery acid. You open your hand and there are stones from the Coral Reef boy clutched tightly. When you breathe, there is no smoke.

Imagine this.

Now, open your eyes.



You Are Alive.

Kayla Roseclere is a wage slave who enjoys getting her hands covered in paint and never sleeping. She hopes to one day publish a book of poetry.