poem
Volume 33, Number 4

The Real Fake News

In the comic book, Superman bursts through the floor
of an elevator to grab crooks escaping
at five miles per hour, leaving a hole not much
wider than his hips. But that’s not how it happens.

Bursting into an elevator like that would make
it implode, plunge to the basement, killing all,
resulting in God-knows how many law suits
by perps’ families, not to mention the landlord,

law suits that poor Clark Kent can ill afford. And so,
Superman ponders his options. “Catch the crooks,
don’t kill them”, the Mayor had warned. If he breaks
through the locked fire door and runs up the stairs, that’s

an expense he can absorb—but he doesn’t know
which level the perps will get off at, meaning he’ll
have to search every floor. He hesitates, thinks,
while his long cape hangs from his muscular frame,

making him an alluring figure for onlookers
to adore. If he uses his x-ray vision,
he may mistakenly see the private parts
of the perps, one of whom is a dame. (His eyes

seem to have a mind of their own.) As a crime fighter,
he is naturally devout, having voted for Trump
four times, and he doesn’t need scripture to know
that God doesn’t like voyeurs.

The crowd grows restless. What is he waiting for?
His mind wanders to the pretty young thing that he crushed
to death the first time he tried to have sex, to the crime
victim who burned to a crisp in his errant heat vision,

to the perp who fell from his grasp a thousand feet up
and died from the fright of the fall. One more slip could cut
the lights on his career. So he walks to the street,
jumps into the sky, and heads for his Arctic fortress

(now relocated due to global warming), where
he chain-smokes late into the night. On the news,
the pundits wonder why he abandoned the chase,
letting the perps escape in a rooftop chopper,

whether Superman “really cares”, or whether he
might turn to the criminals’ side—criminals who don’t
worry about doors or damages or the law,
or killing their innocent dates—while Donald Trump

tweets that Superman is just Fake News after all.


—Caleb Perry Murdock