Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, March 22, 2012

comic books and baseball cards

by John Grochalski

i look at pictures of nieces on laptops
count ten fingers and ten toes

hope that everything is okay in gotham city

see the images of old faces growing older
the lines of flesh more pronounced

their children going from knees to feet
from sound to sarcastic

think of taking a cursory spin around
old sector 2814 tonight
just to make sure everyone is doing fine

i’m comic books and baseball cards

a web-slinger, wolverine through the ages

i gauge myself on the gray in the temples
the slipped step
the aches and pains of existence
the time ticking just to get out of bed

then i ignore it all

slap down piles of rookies and inserts
and wonder if that’s enough to sustain me
the rest of this mortal life

book that trip to central city this summer
hope that doctor von doom
doesn’t work his evil mid-flight

beg for that diamond plated variation
on last year’s meta mvp

the autograph card
a piece of the uniform to run my calloused fingers over

do a voo doo spin over each pack of cards
chant the name of the player i really want

hulk smash if i don’t get it
see the parents turning white and bent
smell the wet dirt around the graves

see the generations handing it off one by one
to the next batch of us
like old immortals reaching for the sunset

but please not to me, folks

because i’m the fastest man in the world
and i can’t be caught

at least not like that

i’m the dark knight glowering in the rain
just waiting on the joker to strike

i have lasso of truth that i’m keeping hidden
from myself for as long as i can

a rare honus wagner behind thick glass

i’m superman, baby

i have a fortress of solitude
and a fear of that kind of kryptonite

collecting the years that keep passing me by
everything going in clear plastic for future use

just like brand new
stacks and stacks of days placed in a box

nothing changed

i’ve flown around this earth dozens of times
to try and get some of the others back

but even superman fails sometimes
gets tired of this hero business

hopes for something else

but damn, if it doesn’t look like
something shady is going down in metropolis tonight.

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