Elizabeth Schmuhl




On the lawn chairs we drink wine spritzer. Strawberries, blackberries, mint, basil, rosé. We share

a cigarette, pass it back and forth. Our clouds evaporate quickly.


Lightning bugs hover above the grass. A blinking constellation that we can touch.


The only way to catch lighting bugs is to pinch their bottoms off, you say.


No it’s not, I say.


You put your glass down and walk into the stars. My stomach knots as you head out.


Star killer, coming back with glowing dust on your fingers.




The tiger lilies’ throats look so beautiful in the heat of noon. I want to slice them open. I want to

chew them hungrily.


They remind me of the woman I love. Her white neck was always begging for the same

treatment but she died before I could slit her.


They say her hair caught fire, her whole body singed. This is why she stopped sending me letters

because she is now ash. I wish she had been more thoughtful.


This is why I’m not waiting on the lilies. Beautiful things are always moving towards ugliness.

It’s just a matter of who reaches them first.


When I chewed, I swallow their seeds. Soon they will sprout, grow out my throat. Who will be

waiting with a knife for me?


ELIZABETH SCHMUHL’s a writer and multidisciplinary artist whose work is published in PANK, Michigan Quarterly Review, Big Lucks, Paper Dartsand elsewhere. Her full-length book, Presto Agitato: A Dictionary of Modern Movement, will be published in fall of 2015 by Zoo Cake Press with a limited run edition out from dancing girl press in early 2016. She illustrates essays for The Rumpus and is currently teaching at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Find her online at www.elizabethschmuhl.com