Timeless Beauty

By: Brian Hall

Featured art: Costumes Parisiens by Manteau de Zibelin

What does she tell me, wind?
—Louis Aragon

My grandmother is a Louis Vuitton model.
Though she will never see the streets
of Île Saint-Louis or pose
along the Seine clutching a Monogram
Canvas Petite Malle iPhone case,
she does drift through grainy nostalgia
like Sora Choi; she does stare beyond
the moment like Sasha Lane, who yearns
to wear soigné dresses and be admired
near rue de la Femme-sans-Tête.

My grandmother is a flâneuse of Youngstown,
shuffling near the faded edges.
In the middle of the road,
she stops traffic because she is
elegance: the wind rippling
her white robe around her as she looks
over her shoulder, gazing
at an audience—drivers, police,
grandchildren, and daughters—
she no longer understands
and at the seasons forever lost.


Brian Hall received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His essay, “Study Bible: The Great Commission,” was a notable essay in Best American Essays 2014, and it won the editor’s prize in Memoir. Another of his essays, “Twitter Iran: Twitter America” was a notable essay in Best American Essays 2010. His other essays have been published in Blue Mesa ReviewSeneca ReviewPalo Alto Review, and others. He lives in Cleveland and teaches writing at Cuyahoga Community College.

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