Lilly Toledo

Nothing walks into the Everything bar

I’m losing my mind I think
That feeling is back again
The one where it feels like every nerve is turned on at the same time

Electricity is pulsing and sensation feels a little softer now
The aftermath of the chair is rushing to my head
Smoke is coming out of my ears
I feel like the mirror in a makeup palette
I know that it doesn’t make sense
But it does to me
I think

I think I’m losing my mind
chills without the cold
A string though the hole
Water before the tension breaks over the cup

Whenever the suspense of nothing occurs throughout my cells
There are many options

Option one
Lie on the floor and listen to a slowed-down version of a song
Regular is too fast and silence knocks on obsession’s door
While I knit or paint or bake or swim or write or read or something anything
Oh god

I think I’m losing my mind
When I can’t focus on anything it’s usually two reasons
1. I’ve forgotten what thinking feels like
2. All I’ve ever known is my thoughts crashing together at the speed of a particle accelerator

Option two consists of eating and pacing
Pacing down the hall or around the kitchen looking for something to devour
Maybe it’s gluttony
Or maybe you’ve missed lunch and you know you’ll miss dinner so you eat in between

Obsession becomes easy when it’s the only thing you see
Noses rubbed raw
Fingers decorated in half-moon crescent patterns from nails too long and pain too easy
Calorie calculator in periphery
Too far to see
but it’s snide remarks are the only thing you can hear
While your brain contracts and expands

I feel like I’m losing my mind
Repeated motions tend to manifest itself in my hobbies
I say I bake
Hands across dough
The smell of too much butter or too much sugar permeates through the air
but really I’ve memorized a chocolate chip cookie recipe

3 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of butter
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder

Wets first cream the sugar
Dry second don’t overmix

I’m losing my mind
I think
I can’t really resolve this feeling of static in my hands
It only lays dormant
Before silence creeps
And all I’ll think about is nothing
And everything

"Spring Anew," by Lauren Frame. Oil on canvas. In the foreground, snow with evergreen trees left and right. In the background, foggy outlines of trees with daylight. Colors of white, yellow, green, brown,  blue, red.
“Spring Anew,” by Lauren Frame

Used matches still burn

Used matches still burn
Still light on fire
Smokey smell permeating in all the wrong places
And yet
From all the wrong places

A match can be lit on fire as many times as you want
Until it is nothing
A black stub for you to throw away
To be lit on fire by another

Thrown into that firepit pile
Your uncle teaches you how to light one
A fire that is
Triangle formation
the strongest structure in nature

You’re ash now
Gray dust thrown in with everyone else
Led to their last place of rest

A recollection
A remembrance of communion

You were twelve
It was cold
You got a cold
Because it was cold
And windy
You were there alone
In the middle of the desert
In a camper
With the dog

What was her name
It doesn’t matter now
Run over by a car
All she could ever do was run
Turned to ash like the rest of us
A remembrance of communion

Your dad was mad at you because you had a cold and didn’t want to go on a walk in the middle
of the desert

Your recollection of communion
It was 3 or 4 in the morning
It doesn’t matter
It was cold you couldn’t sleep
And neither could anyone else
You ate chocolate
There was one with mango
Your dad’s friend got it from trader joes
We sat around the fire and talked about the power of the sun until he appeared

The remembrance of communion
Used matches still burn
Memories still harbor resentment
And I still remember the cold
And the cold
And the wind
And the dog
Even though I don’t remember her name

Religion has never been my calling card
But my father will do things again and again as if he is praying
I will look upon the california sky in december
And he will cook us a meal at 10 o’clock at night
And we will call it church

The remembrance of communion grays in color as we continue to strike the used match of
Again and again until we are nothing but dust

Lilly Toledo is a high school sophomore trying not to lose her mind. They like their cat, their TV, and every once in a while she puts pen to paper and has fun with it.