An Autobiography by Ghetto Barbie by Karla Cordero

In our hood in all the right places:
hips be heavy prayer
hips be red language hissing down El Sol Meat Market
eating carne asada bathed in cilantro

Ghetto Barbie
fashion tailor by labor worker
her hoop earrings peso coins
cusses off the catcalls & cholos
by Ken’s six pack abs, by folding pink plastic
cusses off the catcalls & American cholos

Ghetto Barbie
don’t know
Mattel label packaging
Ghetto Barbie
don’t I know:
bleach blond scalp

Ghetto Barbie
who dress & re-dress & re-dress
their dolls into doctors, teachers
give their Barbie’s a career in survival
give their Barbie
weapon
give their Barbie
a tongue


Karla Cordero is a Loft Literary Fellow and Editor of Spit Journal. Her poetry is published and forthcoming in Word Riot, Words Dance Publishing, The Acentos Review, Gutters and Alleyways Anthology and elsewhere. Her first chapbook, Grasshoppers Before Gods, is to be published in 2015 by Dancing Girl Press.