my crayola markers may just outlive me

Cartoonish hand holding flowers through an open window against an orange wall

So How Come I’m Not Happy by Lolo Gem

my crayola markers may just outlive me

by Abbie Doll


i’ve   still   got   a

g i a n t  stash  of

grade school markers

that  haven’t  dried

up  despite  no  use

in  ten  plus  years

but   my-oh-my   i

could never say the

same  about  me.  i

sure  as  hell  can’t

stay  wet  like  that,

can never be ready

(with   no   notice)

the  second  some-

one  rips  my  pants

off   like   popping

a  plastic  cap  off

&  by   the   by,  i

thought   coloring

was meant to soothe

the  mind.  so  why

on   earth   is   this

dumb nonsense all

i can think about?

they’re  so  broad

& so bright—a god-

damn  rainbow  in a

box, & i’m just (me):

a plain jane  wishing

she   could   spread

herself   on   paper,

leave   b o l d   lines


markers & me don’t

age the same but one

thing’s   for   certain—

only a matter of time

before i myself

mummify &

s o m e o n e

scraps me

like an







Abbie Doll is an eclectic mess of a person who loves exploring the beautiful intricacies of the written word. She resides in Columbus, OH and received her MFA from Lindenwood University; her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Door Is a Jar Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L), among others. Follow her @AbbieDollWrites.


Lolo Gem is a Baltimore-based painter creating whimsical, dreamlike worlds with deceptively seductive colors and forms. Gem personifies complex anxieties, fears, and ambiguous sensations into a cast of endearingly gloomy characters and animated objects. Employing a visual language rooted in vintage animation and comics, her work provides an immediate sense of familiarity and nostalgia, while abstracting the familiar and providing new, unexpected context. Her process is a fluid exchange between impulsive childlike interruptions and subsequent responses. Areas composed of acrylic paint and drawing materials are continuously built up then promptly broken down, resulting in playful coexistence of indecisive marks and tight, resolved elements. Gem’s work embraces a childlike innocence and aims to provide an accessible entryway into the human psyche through the lens of a feverish childhood dream.