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Poem: Batman by Leigh Lucas

Batman by Leigh Lucasfor Wiley

His words are tomatoes
and panties. Mine are
a little harder to admit.
He tells me: I know it may
surprise you, but deep down
I’m really insecure.
His poetry’s a parrot in a
dollar-sign sack. Mine’s a child’s
hand in a fat grip on a fat crayon,
puncturing crate paper.
Be gentle, dear.
You have to say it sternly.

If I was more
like someone who wrote about
ripe red underthings, I might
feel safe enough to keep only
a thin layer of spandex
between me and the gory, between me
and immaturity, and words like womp,
the sound the villain makes
when he’s flung against the drywall.

Instead, I write about How I’m
Feeling, and wanting
superpowers, and actually think:
I wish my boyfriend was Batman.
That’s a real thought that I have.
This last decade, this in-between

place, became hard to stomach
the moment I realized that you
are the poem I’ve been trying to write.

I don’t have the velocity for
sleeplessness, nor the power
to create fire from a spark.
I don’t want to be saved.
I just want to know a hero.

Leigh Lucas

Lucas is a writer who lives in San Francisco. She is working on her first collection of poems. Follow her on Twitter @leighluc

This poem originally appeared in the Play issue. For more inspiring stories about dealing with “play,” check out When a Sex Shop Opens in the Neighborhood and Upping the Ante: Jessica Walsh on Creative Play.