To the Human Barbie, From Barbie

I saw you on the internet, your waist
a narrow funnel from your chest, your hips
flared out to fit the width of bones required
to walk, to sit. Let’s talk about your face –
your lineless forehead and your pouty lips,
your eyes so wide the sun could burn away
your corneas before you even blinked.
The plastic gods have done their worst to me.
I have no power, no potency, no rights.
I am a pawn, and Girlfriend, you must know
I’m not alive. My carved and plastic hands
can’t hold a spoon. My rosebud mouth can’t taste
sorbet. My knees won’t bend, and if you must know
it’s been so long since I’ve made love to Ken.

And then there’s you, you little fool. You bought
the scam, you believed you weren’t enough
the way you were. Your perfect imperfections
made you you – your average breasts, your cellulite,
your slightly drooping eyelids, your chipped tooth.
You weren’t meant to sit upon the shelf
like me and wait for some poor girl to gaze
at ball gowns and bikinis, bleach blond hair,
and start to wonder what was wrong with her.
It’s crushing, let me tell you, to watch her eyes
light up like sequins, to see her tiptoe-walk
along the aisles with tainted views of womanhood
and grace. Dear God! To take it back! To take
you back, and her, and while we’re at it, me.

Sandy Coomer

Sandy Coomer is a poet, mixed media artist, and endurance athlete from Nashville, TN. Her poetry has most recently been published or is forthcoming in Red River Review, Clementine Poetry Journal, and Hypertrophic Literary Magazine, among others. She is the author of two poetry collections: Continuum, published by Finishing Line Press, and The Presence of Absence, which won the 2014 Janice Keck Literary Award for Poetry. Sandy's artwork has been on exhibit in middle Tennessee galleries, community centers, and libraries. An avid lover of endurance sports, Sandy trains and races year-round in the sport of triathlon, including Ironman and Half Ironman events.

5 thoughts on “To the Human Barbie, From Barbie

  1. Charlene DizonCharlene Dizon Reply

    I absolutely LOVED this piece! I’m writing a story right now with a similar theme to this and wow – your writing simply blew me away. Very real and honest, and I’m 100% positive that if Barbie truly could speak to those trying to aim for physical perfection, THIS is what she would say!

    Favorite line: “My carved and plastic hands
    can’t hold a spoon. My rosebud mouth can’t taste
    sorbet. My knees won’t bend, and if you must know
    it’s been so long since I’ve made love to Ken.”

    1. Sandy CoomerSandy Coomer Reply

      Thank you, Charlene! The people that try to become human Barbie’s and Ken’s, that aim for physical perfection, just break my heart; hence, this poem. I’m happy you liked it. Good luck on your story. I’d love to read it!
      Sandy

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