She Enlivened

“Self-portrait” charcoal & photo by Elizabeth

Carla Zilbersmith, inspiring theatre arts creative director, teacher, singer and comedian to her final words, wrote and performed her critically acclaimed one-woman show not long before her ALS diagnoses, which undermined the serious interest about to bring “The Wedding Singer” and Zilbersmith to a larger audience.

Wedding Singer Blues Carla Zilbersmith

Carla is part of my self-portrait since she helped me develop hand character for my class monologue. People loved Carla. I loved Carla. There are no words for such loss except ALS sucks! and her own:

Gravity’s Haiku

“Gravity” ink, haiku & photo by Elizabeth

I used ink for the first time when I drew this and fell for ink’s fluidity, speed and versatility. I also used a Chinese brush and bamboo stick, so chose haiku for the words, which were for my spouse since that day was our anniversary.

in palm's wings, spring-breath, spirals
heart-bind me and you.


poem & photo by Elizabeth


How his crew cut head froze, poised above the place I could not see between my thighs, his short rodent hair arcing from my hairless mound, my mind providing the anesthesia of amnesia as if a spinal block flowed through a slender needle, numbing my body clean. And now that you’ve cut your long wheat field hair, he is the one I see near my belly, holding a switchblade against the rivulets of warmth that run from your tongue through my lips, radiating out hips thighs breasts arching back outstretched fingers. Remembering till now only my hatred of him, but as your fingers touch my inner thigh, images slice through muscle of his hand on my throat, palm in my stomach, head pressed into the opening I could not see, and I want to run from your arms which have held me warm against your chinchilla skin. As your pomegranate taste hits the back of my throat, his rancid stench catches, numbs my body clean.

Thank you to the editor of Rising to the Dawn for publishing this poem.