Poem | Towns

2016, December 21 - Austria (by the river Lech)

2016, December 21 – Austria (by the river Lech)

Written 2016, December 23
01:38 pm

The sun sets
and our smallest of towns
is painted red
in its infinitude

Snow falls
behind our eyes
in our dreams, the skies
are torn

spin ribbons
around us, —-dance
above our heads

In our minds, we learn
to sing
in our minds, we learn
to hear music

In the dark, you lie
so still

—Lola Elvy

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Poem | Inhale

2016, July—Lamu, Kenya

2016, July—Lamu, Kenya

2016, September 24
07:10 pm

Seven o’clock
The sun sets
The sky is dark

You and I
on opposite ends

of this

I want to believe
the earth is flat
I want to believe
that distance


that time
is an illusion
we can stop

by looking
at the stars
and holding

our breaths

—Lola Elvy

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Poem | The Spaces In Between

2016, July—Lamu, Kenya

2016, July—Lamu, Kenya

Written 2016, September 21
12:56 am

Your silhouette is black
against the midnight sky
your fingers, tight
——-like a promise

the stars cut the heavens into shapes
around us

and you sit listening
for the imperfections in this silence, only
to find
that there is none

I learned to love this night
for more than its simplicity

I learned to love this music
for the spaces in between


and you told me to listen
not for the sound, or the nightingale singing
its sacred tune
but for the vacant space

hanging empty
at our sides

filling up
our hearts

with words

—Lola Elvy

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Your eyes look like the sun inside the sea

2015, July—Lamu, Kenya

2015, July—Lamu, Kenya

Written 2016, August 04
06:49 pm

Your eyes look like the sun inside the sea. The nights here are cold, and spent in solitude. I haven’t looked at the stars properly for days.

Keep the fever in your bones quiet, and the let world pass you by like evergreens in a psychedelic wind. Kaleidoscopic, we fell.

I am addicted to the sound of silence, ringing through the air like a bombed-out utopia. Watch the sky implode. I know you’ve seen it here before.

Euphoric in this feeling, we waited for Infinity. The edges of the earth fell hollow in our hands, sifting through our fingers like sand. Cacophony at its height, the roaring sun hailing upon the land a rain of shattered dawn. Celadon mixed with midnight grey made the sky turn red.

—Lola Elvy

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Poem | Southbound

2015, December - Zanzibar, Tanzania

2015, December – Zanzibar, Tanzania

Written 2016, June 23
03:09 pm
Finished 2016, June 24
12:02 am

The days rise and fall like the sky breathing through
its broken stratosphere
you watch it exhale, push the sea forward
inhale, draw the stars to fold in
on themselves

———-Do you remember where we started?

From sand and sea and the taste of rain;
From empty architecture that never looks complete;
From the people we knew and the ash stained on your curved

———-The weight of smoke soaked through my sweater, kept close to my skin for days.

From thickened air, the smell of sweat on sundrenched skin in the early
morning; from a different fire on a different shore; from bread
that cracks in hand and leaves its crumbs on the plastic

——-You told me that you loved me.
———-Thirteen degrees shy of zero, and you held my hand like summer.

The trace of fingers on foreign
skin, a sense you can’t quite
it sounds like memory

———-Timidly, you said. Told me that you felt it. Don’t blame us. We don’t know these words.

———-Three minutes to midnight. Time’s running out.

From the things you said and the things you never
Every second it takes
Every line we breathe

———-When we leave?

———Do you want to?

Every look you give me, grey shrouded
with the color of hope

———-Are you ready?


Time stops
I inhale

—Lola Elvy

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Poem | The thought of you is frozen



Written 2016, March 16
07:04 pm


The thought of you is frozen
like a favored word you can’t pronounce
or a promise you can’t keep

Garden chairs lying broken outside. The air looks colder
than their time-stopped metal curves. Grey,
like the sky
like sea

———-I hear them, always. I don’t know what they’re saying. I don’t know how to answer.

The crux of their backs crowns the horizon like concrete bent to mold
around crooked skin
Don’t stop now
We’ve barely started

Iwanttotellyou, a—
—-tactile sound and manmade
wind hissing through grass

freshly cut

A girl, green dress
beneath dark sweater. Goes from one
place to the next like it doesn’t matter
She hasn’t learned to recognize boundaries yet

Stiff fingers
Can’t feel a damn word you’re writing, but you run your hands
over the page like braille. It’s getting dark. Stay a little longer,
won’t you?

Her gloves are yellow.

Car made to cut through sand. In this weather? You hear your mother curse.

You miss the sand. You do.


———-I can almost touch it. I can almost feel it breathe.

Close your eyes. The dark reminds you of quiet.

Black shoes on freezing grass, just before the dawn, and you sit
and watch

And the sun rests just shy on the highest
hill, the steady
arch of the road reminding you
of wind

It tastes like sky

But it’s not home


Air staining windowglass like a pulled exhale in reverse. You’re done now. And you know it. Lying bare and spent on the tiled floor, you lay your hands back and imagine it tipping, tipping forward, spilling you over and down its edge like rain over ice, rock, steel. You run your fingers down its surface, imagine tracing a line through the dust that has collected there; ash, streaking earth and skin and hands, sifting over you like snow.

You were done aeons ago.


Paper cuts from grass when you were eight years old. Press thumb to blade now, try to picture the blood rising from your broiling veins, rising, and then falling, falling, from skin to stone, splaying itself across the soil with dirt-sweet release, fertile, growing into something new, an array of color, streaked with time and possibility, right before your  eyes—

It doesn’t work that way, she said.

It doesn’t.


The heavens tasted like hail

The oceans like corrugated summer


Shatter, shatter
—————————like you used to


Rush, rush,————-stay



cold, tile ———-celadon sky





Like silence

in bone

—Lola Elvy

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fingers comma toes | Submissions Notice – July 2016 Issue Rust

We are pleased to announce that submissions for fingers comma toes‘ second issue Rust are now open.

About the July 2016 issue:

– Submission period: 20 May 2016 to 01 July 2016

– Theme: Rust

– Artists/authors will be notified by 10 July 2016.

fingers comma toes is an online journal for children and young adults created by Lola Elvy and Tristan Deeley in October, 2015, in Nosy Be, a small island to the west of mainland Madagascar.

For more information, please see fingerscommatoes.wordpress.com, or contact us at fingerscommatoes[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thank you.

—Lola Elvy

Fingers comma Toes Logo Final

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