Southern Chic

Dorothy Chan

The fashion blogger from Texas holds up her Persian cat,
giving it a front row view of the once living, now stuffed
raccoon in the living room. And Mr. Journalist just snaps photos
of this belle fashionista with her grouchy cat:
“What does a girl like her see in this taxidermy,
this dead on display,” he thinks. But now, he’s even more fascinated—
what makes her “It,” this southern girl
with her faux red hair, and her cat named “Beau,” and her tightly
wrapped kimono, and how she nonchalantly laughs with the
dead animals all around her—”I like living in this world,”
she tells him as they enter another room—this one filled with
gold figurines…and more taxidermy scattered over the walls:
the head of a deer, the smooth graceful neck that
she pets like it’s still living—”And how nice it is
for all of my favorite animals to be in one room,” she says.
“Look at this rug! It’s made from an actual bear. Isn’t it amazing
how I can still see every single hair of fur on the creature? It’s so
well kept…maintained.” She now holds Beau up to the moose
above the mantelpiece, “Give respect for the dead.”

Mr. Journalist can’t help but flinch… There’s still
some indescribable “It” going on. Chic in preservation.
“Southern chic I call it,” she tells him. (And he quotes her).

Dorothy Chan is currently working towards her MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at Arizona State University. She is the poetry editor of ASU’s national/international literary magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review. In 2012, she graduated from Cornell University, with a cum laude degree in English with a minor in History of Art. Chan’s work has been in Cha and The Writing Disorder. Her honours include a 2012 Pushcart Prize nomination for her poem “Ikebukuro Train Rides” featured in The Writing Disorder, along with the 2011 Corson-Browning Award for Poetry (Cornell English Department) and the 2011 and 2012 Robert Chasen Memorial Prize (Cornell English Department).

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