On my face, they pat and powder and in my hair, they puff and pull.
I am the barbie doll they wrapped their sticky hands around as a child
Bending the legs, mangling the arms, stabbing the eyes.
Like a soldier, I am trained and programmed.
I am to point the gun at the strong, smart, and skilled
So I can appear
Strong. Smart. and Skilled.
I am to strip myself of my integrity and identity and stand there, exposed
With every lie they chose, branded against my skin
With the smell of burnt flesh lingering when I walk.
And once I am packaged into the perfect present
With bows and ribbons to keep me from falling apart
and wrapping to cover up how broken I truly am.
They place me before a panel and scrutinize
Every blemish and bruise till
My skin turn porcelain. My nails turn plastic.
My lips turn rubber.
And standing there I know
that with one quick swipe of the hand,
They could throw me into their box of defective toys
And pull out the next Barbie doll to dissect.
If only I could move my fastened lips and tell them who I am
If only they could witness my passion and heart
If only my life was written across my cheeks,
and along my arms, and down my legs
so they could truly know who I am beyond what they see.
But they can’t.
And so I stand completely still and let them
Poke, pat, powder, puff, and pull
Knowing that the truth pumps through my veins.
Once they have made their judgment
The plastic begins to melt,
And just to know I am alive,
I take the gun, and shoot.
The bullet grazing my arm.
And mangled and twisted in the corner,
I let the truth
I am college bound.