The Elixir

The Literature and Arts Magazine of Brenau University


Velcro by Zoe Scheffrin

I sit here

my gaze fixed on my feet

wondering if I’ll be able to reach

this time,

if the rigid muscles of my back

will release far enough.

They hold me in place,

remind me of

the spasms from charlie horses of my youth

and the mornings after marathons.

I doubt the necessity of shoes anyway

because I won’t be doing much today,

at most walking to the kitchen

just like every other day.

Without my shoes I

“will trip and fall.”

My nurse has instilled this

in my tired mind,

but sometimes I wish

I could ignore her encore of threats;

I think of the simple act

of pulling the strap over,

and wish

it were really

that simple.


-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2013-14 print edition

-Photo credit to Know It All Nanna


Watermelon Watermelon

Watermelon Watermelon by Ashley Lee

Alice sat in the car, her tiny frame pinned to the seat by the imposing mesh of the seat belt that was too big and almost sashed over her china-doll neck. Having just graduated from a car-seat, though, she was not about to complain. The weight of the fast-food burger in her lap, with its clammy wax paper encasing the greasy pile, sat untouched. Continue reading “Watermelon Watermelon”

Try as We May to Make Silence

Try as We May to Make Silence, We Cannot by Arielle Crumley

Amid the haze of smoke and musk, I join the crowd eagerly awaiting the show. The buzz of anticipation clashes with the sound of passing cars. Clad in pressed suits, polished shoes, and pearls for the ladies, all of New York’s finest musicians and artists have shown up for the event. “Can’t wait to see what this bastard has come up with this time,” a cigar- Continue reading “Try as We May to Make Silence”

a series of seed poems

a series of seed poems by Rebecca Jarrett

This poem is called “things I shouldn’t have bought at the grocery store.”

An orchid that I don’t know how to take care of.

Two spice brooms that give me a headache.

Halloween candy, not for trick-or-treaters, for myself.

Continue reading “a series of seed poems”

Expectations of a Black Girl

Expectations of a Black Girl by Brya Colomb

(1st place poetry winner)

I am expected to:

be docile as you try and take from me my basic rights

be sweet, easier to make me a fetish, a “ Chocolate Queen”

keep in mind what makes you comfortable, no confrontations, no scenes Continue reading “Expectations of a Black Girl”

Simple Beauty by Kaleigh McIntyre

[Featuring Tahimi Perez-Borroto]

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition

Ms. Friedman’s Stroll

Ms. Friedman’s Stroll by Nina Siso

(2nd place prose winner)

“Now spit,” she said mechanically for the fourteenth time that afternoon. She watched the elderly man lean to the side of the chair and nearly expectorate into the metal bowl. She wiped his face with a cloth, dabbing moisture out of the wrinkles and grey beard. She gave a tight smile and promised him that the Dentist would arrive in a few minutes.  Of course it would be longer than that; the office had been short- staffed for a while. Most of the women in the office, herself included, only had this job because of the absence of male hygienists and doctors.  She walked out of the room quickly, eager to get home and relax with her favorite radio program.  It had been an unusually rough day. Continue reading “Ms. Friedman’s Stroll”

City Lights by Erin Henderson

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition

About New York

About New York by Kory Stringer

I’ll never tell you I hate it,

Everything about it.

16 hours in a civic isn’t fun.

Although… Continue reading “About New York”

Judgement Day by Lexi Hohmann

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition

Ariel in Real Life

Ariel in Real Life by Rebecca Jarrett

She’s been sick for so long that she has almost forgotten what being normal feels like.

It feels like all she knows now is death, and dying. Her parents dishing out too much money on endless medical bills. Having no hair and getting stared at in public. Being told no, you can’t take Pilates/get a tattoo/pet that dog/go to that concert, you’re too sick. Continue reading “Ariel in Real Life”

Psalm 19:1 by Kirstin Ray

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition


Crumbs by Kate Rochford-Price

(2nd place poetry winner)


If this were the last day

of my life, I wouldn’t complain

about the plastic onion wedged

just so Continue reading “Crumbs”

Class Under Fire by Ashley Lee

-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2016-17 print edition


Her by Kaleigh McIntyre

A girl sitting on a bus bench drinking coffee. Is she going to get on. Where is she going. Where has she been. Does it even matter where she’s been if she knows where she’s going next. Does she come out every morning, like this one, and wait for her bus. Is she trying to get away from something. Or trying to get back to it. Where on earth is her coat. Continue reading “Her”

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