are always fighting evil in a thong,
pulsing techno soundtrack in the background
as their tiny ankles thwack
against the bulk of male thugs.
They have names like Buffy, Elektra, or Storm
but excel in code decryption, Egyptology, and pyrotechnics.
They pout when tortured, but always escape just in time,
still impeccable in lip–gloss and pointy–toed books,
to rescue male partners, love interests, or fathers.
Impossible chests burst out of tight leather jackets,
from which they extract the hidden scroll, antidote, or dagger,
tousled hair covering one eye.
They return to their day jobs as forensic pathologists,
wearing their hair up and donning dainty glasses.
Of all the goddesses, these pneumatic heroines most
resemble Artemis, with her miniskirts and crossbow,
or Freya, with her giant gray cats.
Each has seen this apocalypse before.
See her perfect three–point landing on top of that chariot,
riding the silver moon into the horizon,
city crumbling around her heels.
About the Author: Jeannine Hall Gailey's poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Rattle, Columbia Poetry Review, and other journals. She is the author of one collection, Becoming the Villainess, and one chapbook, Female Comic Book Superheroes. She lives in Seattle. For more information, visit the author's blog.
Copyright © 2006 by Jeannine Hall Gailey. The poem first appeared in Becoming the Villainess (Steel Toe Books, 2006). It may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission