Blog : Beautiful-Things

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Reenactor

Reenactor By Laura Rose   |  January 17, 2022
My father was orphaned at eighteen, and though he'd made his own family, we weren't enough to satisfy his craving for deep roots. For that, he had his sixth great-grandfather and the American Revolution.

Hard Frost

Hard Frost By Yelizaveta Renfro   |  January 10, 2022
On the morning of the day the jury would return, snow swirled with fallen white blossoms in the gutters of the streets. April can be cruel like that. The next day, as I drove, all over town I saw plants that had been protected from the hard frost with sheeting and tarps, and the covered shapes seemed to shift before my eyes...

Amelioration

Amelioration By Mariah Anne Agee   |  January 3, 2022
I want waking up to feel like shuffling a new deck of cards: smooth and full of intention. The citrus sun rises early now. I remember that my body is also a tender peach, wrinkling as I stretch to the horizon line.

Echo

Echo By Ann Guy   |  December 27, 2021
On nights I was restless as a child, my grandmother, Ama, would put her gentle hand under my shirt and rub my back. That time when my family lived in the small house and there weren't enough bedrooms or beds for everyone, she and I shared a twin bed.

Bird Families

Bird Families By Renata Golden   |  December 20, 2021
My mother taught me to look at birds by pointing out their details, like bill shape and breast color. She taught me the names for American Robin and House Sparrow—city birds, the kind we could see in our Chicago backyard.

Dam

Dam By Laurie Klein   |  December 13, 2021
We share the rowboat. I'm nearly nine; he could be 100, my uncle, sole survivor of his platoon. “Losing it,” neighbors say, and “Claims he hears Voices.” I say a person can hold back some things, by naming others.

Developmental English

Developmental English By Jessica Rapisarda   |  December 6, 2021
Julie's name is Adriana or Alessandra. I can't remember, because she insists on Julie. More American. It's not that she doesn't love Brazil, but she worries that her real name will be too big for American mouths.

Ticking

Ticking By Steph Liberatore   |  November 29, 2021
She wanted people to see the antique clock when they entered the house. That's why she put it on the shelf to the left of the window, the one you see when you first come through the door. The black mantel clock, with its golden dragons for handles and clawed feet, sits inside her cheap white bookshelves from IKEA. But it used to sit in her father’s dining room.

Brood

Brood By Jehanne Dubrow   |  November 22, 2021
Soon the insects would come up from the ground. It said so in the newspaper. After seventeen years—five longer than I had been alive—the cicadas would tunnel upwards from sleep into the hard touch of daylight.

Green Apples

Green Apples By Brianne Kohl   |  November 15, 2021
I cut green apples into fourths and then eighths. I slice them into smaller and smaller pieces, the flesh slippery in my fingers. I arrange them in a careful line on the plate, counting as I go—one through twenty-four.

Starter

Starter By Alison Asagra Stoos   |  November 8, 2021
I've forgotten about the sourdough starter again, bubbling in the warmth of the oven light, the only temperature-controlled environment we have in our apartment. The only control I can exert lately, as the world keeps somersaulting into another new normal.

Retirement

Retirement By Michael Diebert   |  November 1, 2021
My father-in-law, Vietnam vet, ex-medic, sat in his low-slung love seat. The thermostat was set at 80. Outside was 100. Through the sliding glass, the Strip shimmered like an alternate planet. If we could sell this house, he said again, we could be nearer you guys.

Buckeye Pyre

Buckeye Pyre By Amy Wright   |  October 25, 2021
We circle the farm first, gathering storm-downed branches for the pyre of a fallen buckeye tree like funerary lilies, without mourning the giant whose dark-stare fruit we bucketed at harvest to safeguard the cattle. Half each chestnut sweet, the other lethal.

The Heavy Bag

The Heavy Bag By Maryam Ahmad   |  October 18, 2021
For three years of my teenage life, I fought. Around 5 PM each day, I'd walk into the boxing gym—a repurposed garage—and carefully wrap up my hands, winding the black cloth over and over my wrist and palm, in and out through my knuckles, until my hands felt safe.

Two Hot Zabagliones

Two Hot Zabagliones By Lou Storey   |  October 11, 2021
Feeling lonely and hopeless, I went ahead anyway. Long before computers took over the planet, ManMate, a gay dating service, mailed me a multipage paper form to complete.

Lamp Light

Lamp Light By Zoe Randolph   |  October 4, 2021
I'm not worried about the meat in the freezer or the milk in the fridge. The only concern I have about the sudden soupy darkness is how I can maximize my time spent soaking in it.

Blues

Blues By Anne Pinkerton   |  September 27, 2021
He taught the dog to howl when it was just a puppy. I’d find the two of them sitting on the couch together, both tipping their faces skyward, eyes closed, solemn, focused. The little beast mimicked his best friend, his idol, his everything—in harmony, they pursed their lips and aroooo-ed as loud as their lungs could push their animal voices.

The Inside of Bones

The Inside of Bones By Kelly McMasters   |  September 20, 2021
His small voice cuts a jagged line into the not-quite-morning quiet. My body reflexively lifts out of bed, finds its way over the piles of tiny cars and books, through the stone darkness of our new apartment, our first without his father. I steer myself into the bedroom he shares with his younger brother, find his bed, crawl in.

The Last Perfection

The Last Perfection By Gary Fincke   |  September 13, 2021
The week-old "Going out of Business" sign sagged in the store window the last night my father baked. Bread and sandwich buns near midnight. Coffee cakes and sweet rolls at two a.m. Last, as always, the deep-fried doughnuts were finished near dawn while my mother readied the display cases where cookies, cakes and pies were already waiting for their last opportunity to sell. At six-thirty, he filled cream puffs and whoopee pies, and then he drove home to sleep.

Life Takes Place Like This

Life Takes Place Like This By Miranda R. Carter   |  September 6, 2021
My student tells me she is going home and then is found hanging by a shower rod on Tuesday afternoon. We do not sleep. All that was hers is now ours to sort through. We speak about her now in past tense.

Filling Cupboards

Filling Cupboards By Danielle Madsen   |  August 30, 2021
You don't start out with coffee cups. You start with single-serve espressos and chai lattes at the coffee shop around the corner from your co-op. But a coffee together after work becomes morning coffee for two.

Resting Place

Resting Place By Kate Levin   |  August 23, 2021
When we arrive at daycare, I step out of the car and close my door gently, hoping not to startle my son awake. As I open the back door to retrieve him from his car seat, I see the bird.

Ascension Garden

Ascension Garden By Stacy Murison   |  August 16, 2021
The first time, you drive by yourself. You have some idea you are going there, but are still surprised that you know the way, without her, through the turning and turning driveways. Left, left, left, left. Park near the rusted dripping spigot.

Merriment

Merriment By Chansi Long   |  August 9, 2021
I was walking to the store with my brother when we stumbled upon a father teaching his daughter to ride a bike. He was in his early thirties, the age my father must have been when he left us, with a widow's peak and roseate cheeks.

Home to Roost

Home to Roost By Vivian Wagner   |  August 2, 2021
I liked the hens, with their kind eyes and soft, red feathers. I was seven, and I wanted to sleep with them, to nestle with them, because they felt like a dozen mothers, all watching out for me. My real human mother said I could, so I took a blanket down there at bedtime and laid it out on the floor of the little wooden triangle coop that used to be my playhouse.

My Father's Only Recipe

My Father's Only Recipe By Kim Liao   |  July 26, 2021
First, take pork spare ribs. Hack them up with an impossibly large cleaver into bite-sized pieces. Rub them with a proprietary mix of star anise, black beans, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, and secrets. Never ask him what happened in Taiwan, or why his mother never spoke the name of her former husband again.

Name

Name By Michelle Webster-Hein   |  July 19, 2021
I've recently dedicated myself to learning the names of trees. Before I never thought it made much of a difference, but the beauty of their names compelled me.

Morning

Morning By Michelle Webster-Hein   |  July 12, 2021
When my infant daughter wakes at two in the morning and her father cannot coax her back to sleep, she and I curl up on the mattress in the guest room below the big window, and I drift off with her tiny fingers gripping my thumb.

Carrot

Carrot By Michelle Webster-Hein   |  July 5, 2021
Tonight I peeled and chopped carrots for dinner, tossed them with oil and thyme, oven-roasted them. The simpler the ingredient, the more miraculous it seems to me.

The Last To Turn In

The Last To Turn In By Katie Greulich   |  June 28, 2021
Everyone went to sleep, except my cousin and me. I lingered a bit, my own children upstairs, sprawled across air mattresses, or burrowed in rented cribs. He wanted to stay awake, to party. Or at least have a companion to watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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