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1 poem

by CD Eskilson

CD Eskilson is a nonbinary poet, editor, and bookseller. Their work appears or is forthcoming in The Cortland Review, Yes Poetry, Butter, The Cardiff Review, and Teen Vogue, among others. CD is Poetry Editor of Exposition Review and a past editor of Foothill. They live in Los Angeles.

King Ghidorah

I don’t know surviving to a sequel

or how to speak about anxiety outside of disaster.


Picture a hydra squirming from the lips,

yawned wings knocked against the sun, bellies

filled with burned worlds bowing, over.


I’ve perfected the shrieking onlooker,

the dodge and weave of plans, the scrabble

            over sentences, found refuge in the ribbit

of a push lock or a pill cap


            but no one tells you this anticipation

files the titan’s fangs, buds another head

            on the gargantuan.


Before we watch Godzilla you explain

that King Ghidorah periodically descends

from outer space to obliterate humanity


but all I see is my hand, fingers serpenting,

lightning from their tips that scars

the typhooned sky.


One scene from the film I recall

a father helping children stack rubble

            into play forts, crawl inside

                        the avalanching walls.


How they don’t seek protection in the wreck

            but proximity to ruins,


how scales drop from

roaming dragons to form

            shingles above their heads.


I wonder how I’ve begged for

            this destruction, for gravity to beam

against my body, writhe with reconstruction;


how inheritance comes in many forms,

some jagged treasure that we choose.¹


            I want to behemoth, be the biggest

violence in the galaxy smiting fear and death.


A friend once stole my medication

to see how many heads I’d scream,

how many tails would club

            the car doors and brew up clouds.


What I mean here is I want to wield

fried nerves, the flood and forfeit

of a city, demolition anything I dream;


What I mean is to no longer be

an aftermath.


How I’ve come to think this feeling

only wakes below the ice

when prey like me grows wings

and learns to roar.

¹ Line modified from Laura Turner's essay "How Do You Inherit Anxiety?"

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