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Raymond Burr Is Not in this Movie

Raymond Burr isn’t even Japanese. He has no place
in this narrative. You expected a monster movie,
the straight line progression of vandalism and death.
But this plot’s triangular, a love story predicated
on deceit and betrayal, its edges sharpened by panic.

You don’t speak the language, but you still understand
what is happening. Even without subtitles, it’s so clear.
The professor is a scientist. He doesn’t want them
to kill Godzilla. The professor’s daughter has fallen
in love with the wrong man. Her fiancé struggles

to accept this knowledge and builds a weapon.
Meanwhile, Godzilla grows angry. He thrashes
through the waves, lashes his tail against buildings,
pulls down bridges and radio towers, throws his head
back and howls, inconsolable. It’s a beastly life —

all our happiness built on someone else’s pain,
innocent kaiju held responsible for every terror, every
tragedy. Godzilla will die. But root for him anyway.
He’s our hero. He’s the king of big ideas: the monstrosity
of war, the horror of love, the stark futility of fear.

____

Gillian Devereux received her MFA in poetry from Old Dominion University and is currently a PhD candidate in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches Media Culture and English at Bay State College in Boston, Massachusetts. Her poems have appeared in FOURSQUARE, Gargoyle, 32 Poems, Wicked Alice, and other Journals.