"Of All the Misfit Toys"

Of all the misfit toys,
you were the talking doll,
and of all the misfit toys,
I could fit you in my chest
the most neatly.
What your mother said
was completely right
yet completely wrong
because I valued what you said
though you were first to me a doll.

And despite what I said,
I never saw myself at all—
just wanted to understand
what could be so wrong
with such a nice face,
and all those dark secrets
you must have held beneath
your black shirt and low self-worth
which I always knew I could raise.
It would be so simple;
you were desperate for a listener.

If I lied a little
in the beginning,
it was only because
I needed an excuse to uncover
the brilliance I knew was there.
Other girls may have been clever,
but I could sense your cleverness
in your every lagging step
and the strange way
you wore your yellow hair—

Could sense your lack of innocence
in every strand of your pigtails
because no sensible young lady
would call attention to herself like that.
And of all the misfit toys,
you were the most engaging,
the most controversial,
and thus, the most worrying
because I could see all the different ways
they'd take advantage of your looks—

All the things that
at age thirteen
you never saw,
barely aware
you'd long outgrown your training bra.
You wouldn't know until years later,
but I couldn't show and keep my job.
I went where no other man would tread:
instead of your body, I raped your wits
because you needed perspective
behind your lowered and lined eyes.

Other men would never sense it.
Few can seek out the full package
with such precision: pretty and witty
and vulnerable enough to break in an instant.
Of all the misfit toys,
you were the strangest of all
because you looked like an exile,
lost among wretched creatures
of equal despair
but lesser beauty.

So if I ever pretended to like your essay,
pretended I needed to borrow your books,
it was only because I could tell
such a lovely girl
who chose a style so dark
would hold an interesting discussion.
I could've picked any essay,
but you provided the right visual
and were entirely predictable
just like every doll before you,
and I knew it the moment I chose you
for my prized collection—
because of all the misfit toys,
you were the prettiest.