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Ryan Dzelzkalns (New York University, USA)



Mothra Dies Again Tonight

It’s the same as always—
  he didn’t call or he said too much
or he wasn’t what she expected.

After the offense
she tilts her head over her martini,
rolling the stem between her fingers.

She keeps her eyes opening.

Once her wings fray and smolder,
there’s no point in waiting

—sometimes it’s quick,
                sometimes it takes a bottle of bourbon.

But when she uncorks her
emotions, they kindle through her
so fast they whistle.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

She nods. Before Godzilla goes,
he leaves a little extra for the bartender
                for the soot.


Mothra, There is Nothing Wrong With You

You think you are twisted,
you think you are hannya, but Mothra,
there is nothing wrong with you.

You indicate your inexorable fox spirit,
point to your poison spores, hurricane-
force winds, your assorted and numerous death rays.

But I say you are beautiful.

I wish you could train your compound eyes
to see yourself as I see you.

You are strong and fierce and human.
Under all these metaphors, this
terrible armor, we are just people—

a little bruised, a little worse for wear,
but nothing some gin and pork can’t fix.

Dying is no small task and you make it look easy—
the sudden atrophy, the worm and creep.
But it’s still something you must come back from.

Let our weaknesses reform and pray for wings.



Ryan Dzelzkalns is an MFA candidate at New York University and has work appearing or forthcoming with Revolver, Midwestern Gothic, and Narrative. He is the tallest man in New York.

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