Jeremy Griffin

is the author of the story collections A Last Resort for Desperate People: Stories and a Novella, from SFASU Press, and Oceanography, forthcoming from Orison Books. He teaches at Coastal Carolina University, where he serves as faculty fiction editor of Waccamaw: a Journal of Contemporary Literature. He can be reached at

King Kong In Love

Atop the Myrtle Beach Wax Museum,
              fiberglass King Kong clings
                           to the spire of the plywood Empire
State Building with one fist,
              the other clutching a poor approximation
                           of Fay Wray as one might hold
a champagne flute. What is the language
              of our grasping, that melody sung
                           in brighter tongues to lull the self
back to familiar terrain?
              Even Kong feels the crooning
                           of phantom limbs, sugared molars.
See him climb toward the sun, ascending
              home because love is a thing that fits
                           in a fist, barely. Watch
the biplanes zip like hornets around his hulking form,
              taunting the question of his longing.
                           We know that he’s bound for the earth,
poorly designed for a world
              where desire has no shell
                           to protect itself from itself,
and where everything worth carrying
              lives in someone else’s arms.
                           Even now we are always just shy
of the clouds. Kong seeking solace
              in altitude, reaching beyond
                           the skyline, lost to the teeth of that great fall, less
than a villain but more than a thief.