Kryptography

John F. Buckley and Martin Ott


Krypto's bark was worse than his bite

the time his howl broke the eardrums

 

of the mailman, so eager to protect

and serve, his heat vision released

 

to sizzle every bratwurst in Metropolis, 

hoping to feed his master after a long 

 

day revising copy for a dying publication

and deflecting asteroids above Kansas.

 

Walks in the park proved perilous until

Clark asked Zatanna to unleash super

 

canine powers with a Latin phrase, a turn

that also created Krypto's actor alter-ego

 

Joe Kuhl, accidental rival for Lois’ heart, 

so suave until instinct won out, eloquent

 

were-thespian drooling, then humping 

her leg at an interview. “Her haunches as

 

spry as the spaniels of Kandor…” his last

human words before the spell ended.

 

All he could think about when Superman

left him in the Fortress of Solitude, an icy

 

doggie daycare, was how difficult it was

not to fly into the Kuiper belt and chase

 

hypersonic Plutonian astro-squirrels around

forests of comets, panting in a vacuum with

 

glee, using fetid super-doggie breath to tickle

the hairs on their bushy blue methane tails.

 

Out here he could almost forget the loneliness

of siblings and parents blown to dust, villains

 

and women looking to steal his master, dreams

of bloody steaks pooling into a giant red sun.