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Elizabeth Kolenda is a poet living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she is an MFA candidate at Louisiana State University and recent editor of New Delta Review. Her work is forthcoming in YES Poetry and Bomb Cyclone. She tweets @partyantithesis .

Author's note: the title  of "Dictionary of Hallucinations: Tachypsychia" is taken from this helpful website.

1 hybrid essay

by Elizabeth Kolenda

Dictionary of Hallucinations: Tachypsychia

IF / A seam of light from beneath a closed door. If I’m startled by how soft. If a stranger moving in that cavity making shadows. If tender, if pearly. If I move my tongue along the nerve again and again, if observing, if glossing, if silent.


Then cracked open slowly, pretending not to see. Then someone’s fingers curled in between. Then breath dries. Then sound goes. Then the floor falls. Then touch swells, then taste dissolves then the room fills. Then time pulses open, like a cut. Then verbs pour out framed by the four posts and spreading, dark red like jam. Crushed pink, then smeared and dilated. A smile socketed into a gush.


I open a door into 4 pm to find her body, our body, a nerve running between. Too small to touch. Too heavy to lift. Our spine fused. Mouthing out. An infinite loop. A lip and another where the first should be. A tongue and another where the first should be. I move the tongue along the pain to soothe or to cut, to wear away.


Every room has a door that leads directly to 4 pm, bubbling, half-lit, a distant plover. If a pale blue wall, then through every door a girl, if lying perfectly still then breathing and then not. Every thought has a girl worn thin as bath water. If I reach and my hand touches nothing, I open my mouth.

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