• Eve of Janus Debutante Ball

    Tiana Clark

    Winter 2017

    Past the portrait of Robert E. Lee I walked
    into the snow bright circle of center stage. Half my face
    caught in the blazing light and the other lost
    in my shadow growing against the wall, looking back
    on Belle Meade Plantation, at the kitchen’s
    dirty dishes stacked like cairns for my kin, looking forward

    into a rich blizzard—the wealthy haze of glittering tables,
    clinking china, and a flurry of whispers. Old Money looked
    me up and down and back again, placing and tracing my origin.
    All evening, they kept asking me who made my dress,
    to repeat my last name. Knight, I said. Knight, as in black
    as the night sky above, everywhere stabbed by blinking stars.

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