Wonder Woman Explains the Act of Contrition to Ophelia

Christian Teresi

Dear child, sometimes being good is a pretty sad song.
When columbine and daisy color your bouquet
all you’ll shortly be holding are dead things.
You begin with pity the same way a priest begins
with prayer. Your allegiance is as halved as my identity
and we’re fluent in these polar offenses. Our mouths
are too much a minor character, too impatient to speak
without crediting the impossible. If there’s an invisible jet,
or a bustier emblazoned with the national flag
these are just toys. Boredom starts with sturdy rope
and welcomes the work knots bring, but the hand
gripping the lasso is bound too much by holding on
or letting go. When I pull tight on my end, wave my hips
in ways so rope burn seems evolutionary, and coo
about purity, this is the real wonder. They’ve been thinking,
“tie me up and I’ll tell the truth” for so long—they’re begging
to be very bad boys. Think of my readership fussing
over cleavage as if it’s more than the poverty of newborns.
I’m happier as the secretary by day. At night I forgo
flying dreams for walking. I wake a hero for the fetishists.
When do I get my way without having to bind
my own wrists? When am I not the doll who cuts herself
searching where the master hid the heart?

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