This poem takes a cultural icon and brings her to life in a very unique way!
LITERARY BARBIE Denise Duhamel
When Barbie reads Kafka’s The Metamorphosis,
her whole body aches. She relates
to Gregor Samsa, the salesman-turned-bug,
who tries to explain his transformation
to his family, but who can only
produce tiny insect-squeaks. So many times
that kind of thing has happened to her.
Barbie’s ouches gone unacknowledged, silent giggles
indicating appreciated tickles, lost shrill cries
for help. From the other room, she overhears a human
telling her friend that women make Barbie-feet
just before orgasm, pointing their bare toes to the edge
of the bed, even though they aren’t wearing high heels.
Barbie has a thought, unsure whether it is
memory or pure imagination:
It’s her, but not her,
under the stars, in a field of wet grass. She looks
like someone she doesn’t know—a chubby girl
with problem skin and thick glasses. There is a hand,
her own or someone else’s, between her legs
and she feels the beginning of something
she’s never felt before. In her terror of pleasure,
she whispers no to it all. And wakes up, immobile,
plastic, looking entirely like somebody else.