Once upon a time there was an empty prom. And she filled it with burgundy velvet and the
of taffeta and despite the attention she gave to her mane of strawberry curls and to the application of burgundy gloss to the convex curve of her lower lip and especially to the deep
divot of her upper lip (as if it were always reaching for a word, or a kiss) and despite the rhinestones and the shoes which she has now forgotten, her father refused to tell her she was pretty.
And when she stood before him ready for the ball she saw barely more than his narrow eyes above the broad sports page and then the shaking of his thick head in front of the La-Z-Boy backdrop and because he asked her the question of whether she had considered that others might think her a whore with her shoulders showing and her lips glowing and her young diminutive chest exposed just so
below the modest plunge of the velvet neckline and landed somewhere in the tangle of her 20-inch waist (which he also resented) and there it lies today (now 24 inches tangled) buried but not rusted, glowing, waiting still for him to
the sports page.