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.