Godzilla at Sixty-Eight by Tom Barlow 

when I’m feeling morose, thinking about tying one on or worse, I go talk with Godzilla / lately he hangs out in the L.A. community gardens where we old men fight over his scat to fertilize our tomatoes / he doesn’t

leave there often, as his feet can still crush aqueducts / Beemers / oxygen bars / this town once offered a bounty on his head / and now the tourism people want to adopt him as their mascot / he freaked when I 

showed him the first souvenir bobblehead in his image, and accidently took down a power line / I reminded him we all act according to our nature, no matter how dark, and guilt is indulgent / kids still like to get high and 

take pot shots at him from time to time / by now my friend is more lead than flesh / he complains to me that he has trouble emptying his mind to seek nirvana, with all the traffic noise on the 405 / I tell him my tinnitus

has the same effect / even the greenies who deliver boxcars of vegan whale meat to him know that his days are coming to an end / Hollywood hasn’t called since CGI took over / he swears he hasn’t had the compulsion 

to destroy a city in over twenty years, even sleeps standing up to avoid the coughing jags that knocked down condos / the Zoloft I bring him does only so much to quell his melancholia / he still dreams of 

a quiet Pacific island, a nest of eggs, and a horizon free of mushroom clouds / and I can tell how lonely he is; when we play Crazy Eights, he always lets me win.

Tom Barlow is an Ohio author of poetry, short stories and novels. His writings have appeared in  journals and anthologies including  PlainSongs, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, Aji,  The New York Quarterly, The Modern Poetry Quarterly, and many more. See more at tombarlowauthor.com.