Glass Poetry Press

Volume Two Issue Two

Gale Acuff


I want Wonder Woman on the top of the spinner rack at the Rex-All Drugs. I've just turned thirteen and am being weaned away from comic books and onto girls. The Amazon Princess is a good pick — she's just bare enough to be still decent, and she wears red, white, and blue, the colors of the flag, and I still love my country even though it's 1969 and we're destroying the Vietnamese yet still losing the war, but nobody wants to admit that yet, least of all Nixon. I've got a crush on one of his daughters so he can't be all bad. But I can't reach her, Wonder Woman, I mean, even on tiptoe. I'm about six inches short. So I ask the lady who's got her hands on a soap opera magazine to pull the comic down for me. Sure thing, baby, she says. Which one? Wonder Woman, I say — my voice hasn't quite become a man's yet, and this lady's is deeper, and as she raises her right arm I can see some breast to the right of her arm pit. I'm glad it's shaved. She snags the thing, the comic, and pulls it down. Nice hair, she says--she means Wonder Woman's. Her outfit's cute, she adds. Here you go, Sweetie — she hands her to me. Thank you, ma'am, I say, but it's more of a whine. I love you, ma'am, I want to say, but don't. She's turned away. I reckon I'll never see her again, but I think that we've shared something special, though I'm too young, and go to public school, and watch too much TV to understand, and my first nervous breakdown is still three decades away. But I don't know that then — or maybe I do: for someone's who's just in seventh grade, I do wonder a lot, especially why life doesn't make sense and God doesn't seem to care about what a mess we've made of it and why the gals dress up so pretty just to ignore me. Wonder Woman has a magic lasso —if it encircles you, you're in her power, there's no escape, and you must obey her and come clean if she commands you to do so. That's only in the comic. But evil does what she tells it to and so would I. Wonder Woman isn't even real — Chester Gould made her up so she's even better than that but if I can't even get a girl my age what chance do I have with her?