The Elixir

The Literature and Arts Magazine of Brenau University


April 2014

Take It Easy

Take It Easy by Nicole Stagman

There are days I watch you,

suffocating in your stress

and cigarettes,

like a forest fire that doesn’t know

when to quit.

But I am here to breathe Continue reading “Take It Easy”


Language is a Poem

Language is a Poem by Mengqiu Autumn Zhao

I walk across the bridge

Left the bridge over the flowing river

Never look back

Unless I chose the wrong path Continue reading “Language is a Poem”

The Sad Firework

The Sad Firework by Sara Hubaishi

My outer shell began to shake. All the robust sounds filled my tubing. Where was I going? My creator left me, and it felt like I was going to explode. What is the purpose of my life? Why was I brought into this world? I have no talking device, nor do I have those chubby knobs that my creator had. My boxing seemed to engulf my very being. One of my Continue reading “The Sad Firework”


Houndstooth by Ashley Lee

Thousands of threads

draped around my neck

like a lolling cat distract Continue reading “Houndstooth”

Test Day

Test Day by Jondell Taylor

The phone rang. Jason stood up, grabbed the phone, and held it to his ear.

“She just opened her eyes, and now she’s asking about you and Nell. Can you come see her now?”

Before that, Jason sat down with his sister, Nell, to play Go Fish. She wanted to deal the first hand, and counted out seven cards for each of them. “Give me all of your two’s Jace.”

Jason smiled. “You’re supposed to say, ‘Do you have any two’s?”

Before that, Jason washed the dishes he and Nell had used for dinner. He had made macaroni and cheese and chicken strips. Before that, Jason grabbed his sister’s hand and led her out of the hospital doors.

“I thought we came to visit mommy.” Continue reading “Test Day”


V-Neck by Arielle Crumley

Yesterday I found your t-shirt

all wadded and wrinkled

in the corner of my closet,

the scent of year-long abandonment

swelling in the seams,

and I would say I don’t know where it came from,

but I remember Continue reading “V-Neck”

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem by Ellie Lincoln

This light has turned green four times

and I’ve finally stopped crying

enough to palm off my melted mascara,

realizing it’s been 28 goddamned days

since I last laughed without an agonist in my veins. Continue reading “Carpe Diem”

I Do

I Do by Marissa Hewatt Stephens

She walks down the aisle towards him and with my weathered, veiny hand, I adjust my glasses, and squinting through thick lenses, I watch her.

As we gather here today…

She’ll go to a swanky hotel on their wedding night; just like she saw in the movies, and she’ll lie there after on the expensive sheets and think that the cinema has ruined it for us all, which it has.

And when she has a child, if she’s so blessed, she’ll envision herself as one of those all-belly pregnant women and vow to control her portions, but instead he’ll drive her to the local Jimmy B’s at 3am for extra-fried onion rings and blue-raspberry slurpees. He thought it’s what the baby would want anyhow. Continue reading “I Do”

Embrace Your Beautiful Soul

Embrace Your Beautiful Soul by Kyunti James-Thorpe

Embrace your beautiful soul

Because with it, you make all the difference in the world

You will be like wisdom described as she in proverbs 3:17

Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all of her paths are peace

You touch people this way

You change their mood as you smile Continue reading “Embrace Your Beautiful Soul”


Floating by Abigail Paul

Lounging on air

I feel little ripples of water

lipping over the edge of my seat

in a game of hide and go seek.

I welcome their presence

as the sun steams my skin, Continue reading “Floating”

An Ode to My Breasts

An Ode to My Breasts by Marissa Hewatt Stephens

You sprouted upon my chest when I was thirteen.

Small, plump mounds of flesh, you bloomed from my pushup bra,

peaking from the top of my shirt, and

beckoning pimply boys to carry my books.

Ah, the power we had. Continue reading “An Ode to My Breasts”

The White Ribbon

The White Ribbon by Abigail Paul

Her mother taught her

on her first day of kindergarten,

“Two bunny ears, criss-cross,

through the hole, and pull” Continue reading “The White Ribbon”


Spoons by Quanesha Davis

I lay my head on her arm,

and pull the black comforter over our heads,

leaving a hole for the cool stream of air

from the fan sitting on my nightstand. Continue reading “Spoons”


Box by Dianne Honan

I didn’t say anything.

I just stared

at the ring,

cradled in the hand I’d held

since ninth grade. Continue reading “Box”


Adieu by Brianna Prater

I’m not perfect

I’m not very smart

I know I’m different

But I don’t care

Because I want to Continue reading “Adieu”

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