ARCHAIC TORSO OF BARBIE   

    with apologies to Rilke
    

    We cannot know the famous plastic face
    in which her eyes once swivelled.  Still we find
    her headless body's not exactly blind
    but seems to peek out from the flimsy lace
    
    in which some girl once dressed her.  It's a fact.
    Or else her bosom's bump would have no charm
    and you would not harrumph with such alarm
    to see the parts her nether regions lacked.
    
    Or else you would not find it so aesthetic
    to contemplate what plainly is synthetic
    as if it were a creature that is real,
    
    with all a living creature's woes and joys.
    Or else you would not see her sex appeal.
    She's winking at you.  You must change your toys.

This poem was the winner of the 2016 XJ Kennedy Parody Award. It was published in Measure.

© 2020 Robert Schechter 

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