My Godzilla

A weekly poem, read by the author.
June 7 2000 3:00 AM

My Godzilla

Much of the monster movie was (bah DUMMM)
suspense. The coastal fog, the lo-rez video.
You couldn't see him, he was going to be worse than anything,
worse than your worst fears, namely …
how could they be your worst if you could know?
Forty years on: you're pretty sure what's coming.
He pokes from the distressingly fragile harbor,
black-tiled, sky-scraping penis, looking a little worse
for having been nuked and long under water,
but not bad for a penis. What a mess he's making.
Still, it's fine to see him stomp through the gridlock
with his distinctly rubbery wobble,
swatting the haze of planes, drop-kicking taxis.
Maybe he'll snack on the falsetto lovers?
The script, alas, is not what time re-writes.
He's how you look in your bathrobe in the morning,
how you keep smashing through the day,
fired at, invisibly hurt, intent,
litter of ages swirling around your ankles,
the grit grit grit of your soles their tiny, unheard cries.

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James Richardson's most recent books are How Things Are and Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays. He teaches at Princeton University.