From The Godzilla Chronicles (2014)

Godzilla Dream #1

for Anne

“and God was there like an island I had not rowed to,

still ignorant of Him, my arms, and my legs worked…

…but there will be a door

and I will open it

and I will get rid of the rat inside me,

the gnawing pestilential rat.

God will take it with his two hands and embrace it” 

 Anne Sexton, from The Awful Rowing Toward God

 

New York floats by, rowboat leaks,

wet Keds and short shorts damp.

Rain falls that is not rain

rather spray from the monster’s steady

wade across the city, splash, splash

as arms paddle and propel him forward,

toward the small girl who uses her forearms as oars

to get away, get away.

 

The needle of the Empire wavers

only a few stories up from the waves

that shatter windows tinted to hide some truth.

 

Once there was a lizard in her pocket.

Small and scared and oozing yellow pus.

 

When it died she held it in her palm

and cried for the serpent in her soul that died too.

 

Once a fear grew and stretched her pocket into the shape

and size of a cantelope: the tumor that nestled in her belly

and put a stop to the flow of red lettered metaphor.

 

She paddles still, paddles until her arms swell and redden,

yet closer, closer he comes.

 

One day he will be gone forever.

By then it may be too late to realize her mistake.

How her fear said, “run away,” and she listened.

Or perhaps she will turn and face him

and find inside her inner Gamara.

Perhaps she will learn to see the beast in a new way

as if he were part of her.

 

Either way, all she can do is that awful rowing,

rowing, rowing

toward God.