by Joyce Carol Oates

Originally published in The Paris Review, Spring 2001.

A poem too can be a garrote. —Anon.

Though you learned the dance routines they made you learn

and you were 1996 Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl

and you were 1996 America’s Royal Little Miss

and you were 1996 Little Miss Charlevoix

and 1996 National Tiny Miss Beauty

it’s never enough.


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