HOW I SPROUTED WINGS by Beth Kanter

HOW I SPROUTED WINGS by Beth Kanter

A moth grayer than I knocked on my apartment door this morning demanding that I bake her a three-tiered Meyer lemon birthday cake topped with aster, mint, rose, milkweed, and vervain. I agreed for I know what it is to crave flowers and frosting on the anniversary of one’s own arrival. So I went to the alley behind my building and whipped, blended, and folded handfuls of dirt and dandelion stems as my grandmother taught me to do long ago. Water from a rusting hose nozzle the recipe’s only binding agent. At the stroke of midnight, I presented the birthday girl with the confection and sang to her with the force of an orchestra. We cried and ate until we fell asleep on the cold Linoleum floor. When the sun rose, the painted lady had gone and my kitchen was crawling with caterpillars.


Beth Kanter’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in a range of publications including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Emerge Literary Journal, and Cease, Cows. Beth is a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fiction nominee. She won a UCLA James Kirkwood Literary Prize for her novel-in-progress, Paved With Gold. When not writing, she leads creative nonfiction workshops. You can read more of her work at bethkanter.com or follow her @beekaekae on Instagram.

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