fan art by Autumn-Sacura (http://autumn-sacura.deviantart.com/).
When I first heard how DC had de-aged
our Justice League for the reboot it read like
a lazy plot twist, superheroes suddenly shrunken
back into quarter life crises, decades of camaraderie
reduced to awkward introductions (like God knows
when Batman picked up all those children sidekicks).
Who desired this: Superman barely graduated from
work jeans to costume, Green Lantern all greenhorn
eager, Wonder Woman wrapped in identity issues
tighter than her lasso? As if generation millennial, stumbling
towards stability, asked for a reflection. As if watching
my own parents loosed back into their youth (my father
a demi-god of football and funk music, my mother
an artist unlearning to call me mistake) might draw
me closer to them. See, here, how Diana and Clark
might make love midflight now that all their wisdom
is gone? See, here, how my mother wades in a warm
hope, my father’s touring and groupies still some small
obstacle. Every obstacle is small: the manager firing my
mother for my father’s black, delayed graduation, endless
needs of child me. Yes, hear how far future screams are
from this couple’s gentle, as though history were pencil
sketch simple, erasable, pain as preventable as our wrinkles.
for Connor Hawke
When the next issue of Earth 2
slides onto screens and stands,
your face is the plot twist.
Can't call it winter coloring,
that paleness you're sporting
like a new full quiver, always
some halfbreed archer as it was,
now with thinned lips, pinched nose,
all that wilderness bleached right out,
all that history gone like grass stains.
You're your daddy's boy now,
and isn’t that what you’ve always
aimed for? His blonde crowning
your world map in reverse, colors
sucking backwards into blank.
Sure, you can be kyudo and kimchi
when convenient. Hours of relaxing
creams, sitting through the fuming
stench of burnt hair, I get it:
when your skin says burial
you can only hope to blend.
But on the second Earth, Connor,
ain't no white people coming back
black. Meanwhile, on your old Earth,
another brown boy goes gone.
Lauren Bullock is a multi-racial, ace woman hailing from North Carolina. A founder and three time member of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill slam team, she was also a 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational finalist and a 2013 National Poetry Slam representative for the Bull City slam team in Durham. Recently Lauren graduated with a double major in English and Communications and a poetry minor at UNC. She has been published in the poetry collection Tandem, Volume II. When not working on poetry-related activities, Lauren enjoys fighting crime as a costumed vigilante.