Saturday, December 7, 2013

Superman, Where Are You?




It might have been a gray storage room
in a black and white warehouse or an elevator or closet in
an unknown location where Jimmy Olsen or Jonny Quest or some
unlikely hero found themselves unsuspectingly sprawled out on the floor,
woke up, stood up, pulled on the locked door handle, pushed the buttons,
yelled for someone to let them out, then felt the walls closing in,
the ceiling lowering, the floor escaping below their feet,
the thickening of air, the tightening and urgency
of the moment as the certainty of their
demise squeezed them, despite
pushing back, arms and legs
 taut to stop their flesh
from feeling the
reality of being
 the olive in
 the press,
 turn by
 turn


But he was no superhero,
with the line quickly forming behind him,
after the cashier bellows, “Price Check, Aisle Seven,” and the
serpentine column of glares mordaciously piercing right through him.
So he begged the clerk, “Could you open another line?” Confessing, “I have
this social anxiety thing and need to check out now, please.”
Scarlet drips dark down his face to legs screaming inside
to exit the walls of a retail coffin,
reverse the press’s turn,
let the bounty rot,
one step right,
heroically,
to shop
another
 day.