Anna Lena Phillips Bell

Fall 2019

Seventeen, I slipped into a blue
shimmer of satin, slid my card, slipped out
of Dillard’s to my mother’s shock at the price
and into the hope of glow—of a new
looked-on self, chin tilted, indifferent,  
a gleaming, silvered surface. But getting dressed,
I spilled nail polish remover over the skirt,
seared its shine off. In the scattered light
of the altered gym, the sleek dress drew me tall
as I drew in to hide the slashes down   

Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Prize. Her poems have appeared in 32 Poems, Quarterly West, the Arkansas International, and the Southern Review.

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