Gretchen Rockwell

Quarto for Godzilla


some keep their patron saints                                                                       cloistered in a new city
on altars    seated    centered                                                                                        I find    myself
at the heart    of chaos                                                                                      alone  and in the dark
a force   beyond knowing   beyond                                                                          for the first time
definition   and that’s why                                                                                        I’m afraid   I think
they’re drawn to   that                                                                                            I want    to be fierce
a being    that feels no pain                                                despite the gaping wound   the absence
uncontrollable  unimaginable                                                                           I write     myself notes
bold and  declarative   and                                                            remind myself    what’s important
what it must be like     to know                                                           what I must not   forget   that
one’s own   power                                                                                 will   overcome   any obstacle

I keep my patron saint                                                                                           on my refrigerator
where I can see him                                                                                           open   every morning
roaring battle-cry    defender                                                                        a reminder   for my day
an icon   no really   gold leafed                                                                shining   bright   powerful
and gleaming    in the sun                                                                        it only takes    a few words
to remind me     victory is possible                                                        to make    or break  a world
and it is    it is possible to live                                                                become ruin      or destroyer
in this world   and win   I have to                                                       remember kindness   its value
believe    this    if nothing else                                                           compassion is its own   success
I have to believe    I can                                                                               find victory   in     softness




Gretchen Rockwell is a queer poet and supplemental instructor at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island, and has had work appear in Glass’s Poets Resist, Kissing Dynamite, Noble/Gas Qtrly, FreezeRay Poetry, the Minnesota Review, and elsewhere. Rockwell enjoys writing poetry about gender and sexuality, history, space, and unusual connections.