When Batman saved Gotham
having finally figured out
how to synthesize an antidote,
he couldn't go back to just being
Bruce Wayne—like most superheroes
Batman is maladjusted
for everyday life, maladapted
to a saved world.
When Noah touched solid ground
having preserved human- and animal-kind
and much too old to be much use
in the hard work of repopulation,
what divine quest remained?
So he got drunk and he got naked.
Can we who imagine ourselves
heroes ever truly desire
to save the world
when we've known ourselves
only as characters in stories?
In a colorful world of world-threatening crises—
villains, victims, heroes,
heartbreaks, clues, breakthroughs—
we know how to belong.
But in a world without villains
there are no victims, and without victims
there are no heroes.
What keeps the World's Greatest
Detective from pausing
to consider more practical mysteries, like
why don't the patients in Arkham ever get better?
Or at least, why have the locks
never been upgraded,
the staff never properly trained
to resist the manipulations
of the criminally insane?
What is so discomforting
to Batman about comfort itself,
so unsafe about safety?
Post-salvation Batman listens
for the Bat-Phone, trains
for his Joker's faithful return.
And sometimes between sessions of THWAAAPing
training dummies in his basement
or laying around drunk and naked
(save for the cape and cowl),
Batman searches the Bat-Computer
for any information about Bruce Wayne:
Who is this guy, anyway?
What are his hobbies?
Who does he love, and why
does she neither leap nor dangle from rooftops?
What does he want? What is his motive,
Most of all, where is the special phone
that summons him, reminding him
right now is the nick of time
when the world needs him most?