a rack of prom dresses
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The Friday Poem: Millennium taffeta, by Laura Vincent

A new poem from poet and food writer Laura Vincent.

Millennium taffeta


all today’s ills point directly

to the paucity of purple taffeta shot through with blue

sewn into bandeau and a-line

it moved with a conspicuous rustle

what wouldn’t we have done for that fabric

which launched a thousand reputations


did you live through the unsparing dominance of the long torso with the low-rise denim?

American flags on every t-shirt and hoodie, a this you? just waiting to happen

misfired nostalgia can’t soften the acid wince at remembering those crocheted elastic headbands

or an over-reliance on board shorts

but millennium taffeta!

can you feel wistful for something you only saw other people wear?

I can still hear its shimmering whisper

every shade of purple and one for luck

when five of you ended up with the same ball dress

we simply gloried in the shapeshifting glimmer fivefold

for everyone’s sake let’s bring it back

it was the last time we held anything up to the light


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again later this year.

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