The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Body Not My Own by Tanque R. Jones

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from Body Not My Own by Tanque R. Jones, released by Wayne State University Press in 2021.

content warning for slavery

They Knew Before I

small mud-covered toes all look alike
as they run through the Mississippi mire
grown folks stare, whisper
they must marvel at my speed

that’s why I am chosen
to go play with the girl in the big house
my dress looks like one she wore last year
my skin, eyes almost the same as hers

sometimes mean she’s sometimes kind
pulls my hair as she twists it into ringlets
white folks whisper, stare
they must marvel at my hair

Tanque R. Jones earned an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her second poetry collection, Body Not My Own, was the winner of the 2021 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. In 2016, WordTech published her first book of poems Woman in Transition. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Salamander, Progenitor Art & Literary Journal, and Clackamas Literary Review.

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.

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