a taste of ‘The Beautifullest’

89 writers feature in The Beautifullest …

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My father knows a secret bathing spot at the shores of Lake Balaton that’s not occupied by East German nudists. / from Bright yellow underpants by Claudia Bierschenk

She shouted words, hurtful and cruel / Including calling me a cockeyed fool / What had I done to earn her scorn / She was thought of as the pretty one / from I Think You’re Pretty by Aurora M. Lewis

One by one they are firmly rebuffed – “I’m sorry, ma’am, we’re all booked out tonight” – and no amount of arguing will work, even at the place with the faux Eiffel Tower. / from White Tablecloths by Andrew Grenfell

Cosmetic surgery today is adding a fairness – / Double meaning – previously unavailable. / from Lament for the Unlovely by Larry Lefkowitz

Those were the options available to kids like that. That’s what they knew, but like dogs, they (we) rewound back to zero, ready to trust each stranger anew. / from The Boy on the Bike by Shaun Levin

But her arms arrest me most: / arms that might have reached / out in eagerness to enfold; / from Tits and Ass on Main Street by Ron. Lavalette

Some of the Zitfan have all eyes on one side and all ears on the other, or odd ones dotted about. I asked my husband about this one time and he didn’t know why they evolved that way. / from The Zitfan and How I Fell in Love with One by Jan McCarthy

some things never change / without upsetting life’s delicate balance / reminding me that I should have remained / tongue-tied and awestruck / from Susan by Michael Estabrook

I thought it would be forever / caught in the back seat, / from Peppermint Candy by William Butler

I’m not going to ask Jenny out. It wouldn’t be right. / from Not Worth the Risk by Peter Collins

The cracked ovum / More like a chrysalis / Developing and taking shape / At the beginning of a new affiliation / from Dating, Another Time Around by Alex Robertson

The youngest officer asked me for some I.D. which was funny since I’d known him all my life and maybe even kissed him a time or two. / from Brown Equals Boring by Tobi Alfier

“It’s a real live tree and it smells like an actual pine.” She grunted and straightened out some tatty tinsel that had served a couple of festive seasons too many.
 / from Far From Salzburg by Alex Reece Abbott

I like to think that we can one day look back on this sat together though, because it would be great if we could make friends again. / from Dear Past Self by Holly Jane

Inaudible / words suggest an embrace, / the suck and flow of juices, / from Encounter, Lyon by Mantz Yorke

He sat on a chair to tie his shoes and while bent over he noticed a photograph lying on the floor wedged under the leg of one of the lockers. / from For Art’s Sake by Steve Carr

My nails dragging across my translucent skin, / creating a red river, / flowing just as my tears do. / from The Price of Beauty by Bobbi Thomson

O G, is this an elaborate prank? / Or my first experience with longform madlibs? / from Whitney by Taylor John Bruck

‘What a nice bottom,’ I muttered, half to myself. ‘You could have one like that if you wanted.’ / from Coveting by Polly Hall

I hopped down to the basement and straddled a stationary bicycle. I pedalled and Greensleeves clunked out. / from The Clock-keeper by Grace Coleman

The night was good; the chatter of others enjoying a fine Friday night filled the restaurant, the occasional clinking of drinks—ours included, and the smell of good food and even better wings. This was my happy place. / from Nels by Edward Andrew Parks

One of the burger flippers won it for / Amazing Food Service / because his burgers looked better than everyone else’s. / from Staff Meeting by Lisa Birch

The wind was so strong, it made different notes as I turned around to watch the sun slide up the mountain face / from My first iceberg by Nessa Mercieca

Erasing is impossible, but maybe unwritting
 / is not. I unwrote for you the context
 / of goodbyes in foreign languages. / from Letter in unwriting by Katrina Dybzynska

So I’m thinking maybe it’s time to get out of this place, this grubby little island of England full of the offspring of crazy Scandinavian Cossacks. / from I Love You is the Minimum by Michael Wynne

A gilded elephant / suggests a trip to Africa / or India. A crystal candy / dish glitters under sunlight. / from Trinkets by Sarah Henry

Medieval and modern, / stained glass windows / of glittering geometric mosaics; / from After the Tour by Karla Linn Merrifield

Where life is good. Where life is beautiful. / Where the air is still crisp and clean. / And the ocean still shines its infinite blue. / from Pancakes by Tim Jarvis

A spare key to the woman’s house hangs in their hallway. He wants to see what happens if he enters while she’s out / from Shadows and Shine by Judy Darley

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