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Griggori Tyler Taylor

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Photo Credit: Johann/::: mindgraph :::

Dylan and I,
we are cars going in different directions.

We are both the only child of the parent we live with.
He is eight years younger than me and into things
I’ll never give the time to understand.
But when our Grandma died
we drew close like two cars on a collapsing bridge,
drawn together from opposite ends.

There are days I still see us
wandering hospital halls waiting.
Our diets grew to be Starbucks and Subway,
and I grew to know each lustrous employee by name.
We’d entertain ourselves with cards
and checkers on preset tables.
Only then had I ever let someone win.

I love him like a brother.
That’s why once a year
I stop my mental waterfall to watch the playoffs.
That’s why he listens to REM,
allowing me to tell people
“Man, my eleven-year-old cousin has better taste than you!”

It gives us something more to talk about.

So when he stares with eyes already gone and asks,
“Would you rather have a crazy dad, or a dead dad?”
I’m left shuffling through records to find something
to fill the void.
I draw blanks so I say
“I don’t know”
and I don’t.

“It doesn’t matter. I’m still left without a father.”

And no college band or football player
would ever leave me with an answer.

Like clockwork he reminds me
he’s not even twelve yet.
That he shouldn’t have to worry about this.
That a suicide note shouldn’t be sleeping in his voice mail.
That Xanax and hallucination shouldn’t be part of his vocabulary,
which is vast because he was plucked to grow up too young.

I worry about him sometimes.
That he’s already looking at things from perspectives I missed.
That his smile might be lost and he can’t reel it back in.
The news scares him more than it does me,
and I find him asking about things like being bombed.
Like wars.
Things I didn’t think of as a child
but I guess this is how things are now.

And I wish I could tell you
it’s all a story.
That I’d spin it all into a nice metaphor
but I got nothing.
I wish I could tell you it’s making him stronger
but Dylan and I,
we are cars going different directions.
I am speeding to witness the edge of the earth,
He has passed it.
he just wants to rest.


Griggori Tyler Taylor is a performance poet and visual artist from Paducah, Kentucky. He is a member of Paducah Writer’s Group and is a frequent performer at Etcetera Coffeehouse. His work has appeared in Notations and Word Riot (under pen-name Ivan Snow). His first book of poems, Picking the Lovely, is due to be published April ’12. He enjoys writing in third person. He is wearing a hat and drinking a frozen peppermint latte, not constantly, just currently. Email: ivan.snow[at]