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Riding With Ken
Linda and I, fed up, made a plan.
At a toy store in the mall, we bought
all the Ken dolls on the shelf,
talked our way into a discount for nine:
Malibu Ken, Soccer Ken, Skier Ken,
Tux Ken, and Motorcycle Ken
in a range of yellow and brown painted-on,
plastic hair. We recognized them all.
When dusk came and the air cooled,
we cut lengths of twine, tied
one end to our back bike fenders,
the other to Ken necks,
and rode out on single track dirt
to Tennessee Valley beach.
Our stiff-limbed Kens hit roots and rocks.
They bumped, jumped, and clattered—
a wake of stand-ins kicking up dust.
We pedaled faster, flying toward the beach
where we skidded to a stop—for the fun of it—
for the havoc. The moon slid up
and we were covered in it,
running toward the waves with our arms full.
We stood on the edge of the continent,
pulled them apart—heads, torsos, legs—
and threw them in to the surging tide,
giddy with something we had no name for.
First published in Nimrod International Journal
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