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.