What is it to be Loved Even? – Sarah Xerta & Elizabeth Schmuhl

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Q: What is it to be loved even?
A: It is a hall of mirrors, one that makes a person happy and dizzy. But always, there is los- ing balance, falling, breaking glass. Shards. Shattering. Being loved is like that. It’s also like this: a trip to the candy store. All the possibilities. The decisions: what to buy? How much of each? To mix your choices or keep them separate? How to eat them (together? by type?)? And then leaving the store, the high that sugar brings, the eventual crumminess, the sour stomach. The pleasure. The want to return, to buy more. The trick is: not making oneself sick. The trick is: not breaking the glass. But who, in this day and age, can keep their shit together? I certainly can’t. Being loved and loving scares me, which is good, but also rooted in something dark. I distrust men. Or rather, I know them. Because I know “I am the spider. I am the hunter. I’ve become this way out of survival.”

Elizabeth Schmuhl is a writer and dance maker whose works appears or is forthcoming in Paper Darts, Michigan Quarterly Review, Big Lucks, Birkensnake, and elsewhere. She also illustrates essays for The Rumpus. Her collaborative book with Sarah Xerta, Q/A, will be out in 2015. Find her online at elizabethschmuhl.com.

Sarah Xerta is the author of the full-length poetry collection Nothing To Do with Me (University of Hell Press, 2015), and the chapbooks JULIET (I), JULIET (II), and RED PAPER HEART. Find more online at sarahxerta.com.

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