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They say it all the time:
what a lucky bitch.

But she is not rich
and the things she owns are not hers:
the pink plastic dream home,
pink plastic Cadillac,
pink plastic on-again off-again Ken.
If her eyes slant sideways,
always searching for the next want,
they are only painted on. Fair and unfair
doesn’t mean a thing to toys. Barbie never worked
for her pink plastic Cadillac
(and never asked for it, either)
but it was made to fit only her long legs.

She is leaving the world that is pink with desire,
on her gray cardboard rocket ship.
Her pointed toes land on a surface that is gray too,
black and white paper muddled by water
and glue, a paper-mache moon, lumpy surface
shaped by the seven-year-old hand
of a creator with ambition
that outstrips her skill.

Looking down from the surface of the moon,
Barbie’s sideways eyes fill with millions
of dream homes, pink plastic Cadillacs,
even millions of Kens, all made for her long legs.
If one breaks, a million others will take its place.

The moon was made for her, too,
craters carefully layered on by a child
who thinks she is the only Barbie in the world,
or at least the best—the only Barbie
worthy to walk on the surface of her fragile creation.

Looking up from the surface of the moon,
the child’s eyes fill with
millions of stars.
Like the Cadillac, not made for her,
but someday hers.

R. Weisserman has a Bachelor’s of Science in Creative Writing from Central Michigan University. They have been published in Stuff Magazine, The Great Lakes Review, Jellyfish Whispers, and Erie Tales: 666.
Current Issue
25 Sep 2023

People who live in glass houses are surrounded by dirt birds
After a century, the first colony / of bluebirds flew out of my mouth.
Over and over the virulent water / beat my flame down to ash
In this episode of  Critical Friends , the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, Aisha and Dan talk to critic and poet Catherine Rockwood about how reviewing and criticism feed into creative practice. Also, pirates.
Writing authentic stories may require you to make the same sacrifice. This is not a question of whether or not you are ready to write indigenous literature, but whether you are willing to do so. Whatever your decision, continue to be kind to indigenous writers. Do not ask us why we are not famous or complain about why we are not getting support for our work. There can only be one answer to that: people are too busy to care. At least you care, and that should be enough to keep my culture alive.
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