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Guide to Make Use of a Barbie

i. throat

Grab the barbie by her blonde hair
& twist her head off in one turn. Remember
your best friend’s words: only stupid girls dye their hair;
remember his words next time you see a nest of burnt wires
clogged in your shower drain.

Swallow the head positioned downwards
the way a newborn comes out of their mother’s womb head first.
You will throw up later today like a cat coughing up a hairball. Sit
like a cat. Be still. Be gentle. Good girl. Good cat.

ii esophagus

Push the plastic down. Destruction, when
done right, through a writer’s eyes, is a form of creation-you
want to be a writer, don’t you? Right now
you are a womb. You are
an outline of your lineage, colored in eggshell white.

Back in that international school, your friends tell you
about their struggles: Asian and American, two parts of one
identity, half-white & half-empty, but this story isn’t about them. Look
at me, (good girl!) do you still wish you were Asian-American? Do you
still feel nausea at the thought of being just Asian?

Eat up the remaining torso. Barbies
are manufactured to end up in hungry hands. Girl dolls
with their bodies out in the open deserve to get devoured.

Remember that you broke your entire front tooth
at the age of six. Bad things come to girls who
bare their tongues not-so-gently. Remember
the invisalign you had to wear just to amend the crookedness
you brought upon yourself a decade ago.

You will never be a barbie; you will never be
as white or as smooth as the leg scrapping sideways in your windpipe.

Best friend, I think I am stupid. I think I want bleached hair.

i stomach / pancreas / gallbladder

Stomach the idea that the only definition of women is in
English. Unbite your tongue & uncross your legs (you’re
not a cat, don’t sit so still) & oh you’re too thin, eat more! You
raise your hand in history class, wanting to ask your teacher
why a Barbie in a flower crown & a sequined dress is oppressed
while one in a man’s blue attire is not, but the teacher does not
call on you. Instead he tells you: Columbus is a hero.

Reject the East Asian lexicon. Recite words in English every night like
you’re calling for Bloody Mary. Break yourself up into
bite-sized please-only-take-one samples. The enzymes & bile
will take care of the rest.

iv. small intestines / large intestines

Medium-sized intestines. Goldilocks’ just right porridge. Don’t
search for that balance. Close the door on your
heritage. Walk on eggshells & broken front teeth. Good girls
talk back. Good girls are bold & smart-mouthed & better
than girls who are well-behaved.

v. appendix

You are Frankenstein; you are Frankenstein’s monster.

Wake up.

Throw up.

I crawl towards the light at the end of the tunnel only to be launched forward
by a whirlwind of sickly breath; I was not
the one who had regurgitated the Barbie but I was the plastic doll
myself, torso & limbs all torn off so I couldn’t possibly break the
display glass that reads:
Exhibit A- What a woman should be.

The girl whose stomach I came out of has my skin stitched on her face. But
to reject a rejection is not the same thing as mere acceptance; it is the wishful thinking
that a bandaid could fix the Barbie you shattered with the hatred of your
entire bloodline; it is tearing off a bandaid in one go and
realizing that the Asian pigments in your skin do not make up a deformity-that
there has been no wound behind your bandaids all along.

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