burning paradise

you burned paradise in your backyard
Barbie's plastic arms melting into twisted ruin
and Ken could never save her
the doll-sized house was the last to go

everything in miniature:
pink plates, plastic flowers, paper decorations
we could play pretend, maybe make believe that
everything was perfect;

& Barbie slogged through her plastic life
new outfits here, time-worn favorites there
Ken confessed his undying love
ran to Mexico with Midge, came back when
he'd had enough excitement and
Barbie never even blinked

(those pretty, painted eyes couldn't
shed a tear)

he didn't talk to her for days—
she was, after all, a sure thing, a certainty
what are those if you can't take advantage?
& Barbie thought she might not find something better
or someone who would understand

& this time it was Spain with Skipper
when he came home, sheepish with exotic
offerings and gifts, casual in his apologies,
wanting her to take him back

they both might have been surprised—

she said, not now, but
they both heard: good-bye

Much love,