APRIL POETRY: "vera wang" by Emily Tian

Curated as part of the Youth Poetry Folio for National Poetry Month
April 5, 2019

This April, to recognize and honor National Poetry Month, we curated a folio of poems by 10 Asian American high school students. This page features Emily Tian's "vera wang." We invite you to take a moment to read the other nine poems in this collection here.

— Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Poetry Editor

vera wang

neighborhood girls catch you
rising from the shower steam
and in the thick tulle
of romaine. they prick fingers
on slick sheets of magazines
and stitch you to their shining
beads of blood. vera they’ve already
set you a placemat: something new.
you spin in new york,
windmill of arms by the ice rink.
now, needle and thread working the
same interior tide, erecting the
same barricade among—
against—the whiteness.
the dress: hailstorm of scales.
you: hooked trout dragging
pearls of foam across the dock.



About this Poem:
This meditation on a contemporary designer is an ode with strings attached. Perhaps Vera Wang, whose label is synonymous with luxury, may be envisioned as an outsider of her own, dealing with physical or metaphorical whiteness in the business of making couture wedding dresses.


This piece was published as part of the April Youth Poetry Folio. To see other works from the folio, please visit the table of contents here.


Emily Tian

Emily Tian is a high school senior from Rockville, MD, and a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. She is the recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Poetry Award. Her work has previously been honored by the New York Times, the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Gigantic Sequins and the Claremont Review, among others.