Paul Guest

Questions for Godzilla

What of the atom’s split heart we made

for you and the godly flash-bang wrath,

the anguished song, the clawed gait,

the zipper by which one of us slips into

and puts you on, your death we dangle

like a carrot, your stunted son mewling

always, your ragged arch foes,

your bed in rock, in magma, in thick sea slime,

our fascination still, our morbid heart,

our scattering like leaves, our blood

that once was horrible, a Technicolor ichor,

what of the glowing spine,

what of the toy stings of stock footage flames,

what of the jets you swatted dead

from the air with unmistakable joy,

you of the plastic-leather, pebbled Pleistocene flesh,

you of the palsied fury, you

of the put-upon by dissemblers and disturbers,

you, what of the life burned

so cheaply into celluloid we are charmed,

what of autumn, what of the earth

we took you from, what of the sky’s wounded throb,

the sallow child darkened

in your shadow, what of those thousand fates

cut in coiling ribbons

to the floor, what of the heaven they hoped on

that glowed like your breath,

that sang only before you came,

that fell quiet like a feather,

what of the shouted orders,

the dread retreat, the fall of a world built to scale,

what is pain to you?



“Questions for Godzilla” first appeared in Hunger Mountain.