by Wesley McNair
The Thugs of Old Comics
At first the job is a cinch, like they said.
They manage to get the bank teller a couple of times
in the head and blow the vault door so high
it never comes down. Money bags line the shelves
inside like groceries. They are rich, richer
than they can believe. Above his purple suit the boss
is grinning half outside of his face.
Two goons are taking the dough in their arms
like their first women. For a minute nobody sees
the little thug with the beanie is sweating drops
the size of hot dogs and pointing
straight up. There is a blue man flying
down through the skylight and landing with his arms
crossed. They exhale their astonishment
into small balloons. “What the,” they say,
“What the,” watching their bullets drop
off his chest over and over. Soon he begins to talk
about the fight against evil, beating them half to death
with his fists. Soon they are picking themselves up
from the floor of the prison. Out the window
Superman is just clearing a tall building
and couldn’t care less when they shout
his name through the bars. “We’re trapped!
We got no chance!” the say, tightening their teeth.
thinking, like you, how it always gets down
to the same old shit: no fun, no dough,
no power to rise out of their bodies.