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.
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
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?"