By Devin Taylor
If you are my true child--the chosen one,
the fruit of my loin and X chromosome,
then there should be the right amount
of me in you: which is to say, that we
should have the same taste in music
and movies and just about everything,
and you should wear my personality traits
and my heart on the sleeves of your shirts,
those manchild ones from Target and Kohl’s
with the pop cultural touchstones, usually
going about ten dollars, almost always
on sale. And I will do all of your shopping,
I assure you, I will provide...“Sure dad,
sounds great!” is what you will say to me
when the mall beckons, and I issue an invitation
to travel together and revel in the bonding experience
of shopping in the graphic tee section,
like father, like son, together as one.
Pink Floyd you will like because I do.
And I will buy you a Dark Side of the Moon shirt,
and you will doubtlessly encounter others
wearing it too: Their rainbow cross to bear,
endorsing a 20x platinum album which they can’t
name a single goddamn song from--but you will
know them all, from “Speak to Me” to “Eclipse,”
and the rest of their discography, buddy,
lest the belt come out, or worse, I disinherit you,
because no child of mine will be a music poseur,
an FM charlatan, no sirree! And we will get matching
Beatles shirts, and Zeppelin shirts, and Hendrix shirts,
and Eagles shirts, and Steve Miller Band shirts,
and Doors shirts (he’s hot, he’s sexy, he’s dead!). Oh yes,
I will forge an identity for you, my son,
the same way classic rock radio has forged
one for me. “Fly Like an Eagle” has provided
me the illusion of some sort of spiritual escape
from the hell of day-in day-out baseball and BBQ.
“Every Breath You Take” and “In the Air Tonight”
got me through my first divorce, “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
reminds me of the beauty present in every death,
especially the romantic and sclerosis induced ones.
Would you play that beside my deathbed, kiddo?
On our family heirloom, the 1984 Sony boombox of course.
I wanna kick the bucket feeling empowered.
And do me a favor, and put on the Blue Öyster Cult
shirt which I bought you and blast “Godzilla”
from their Spectres record and crush the skyscrapers
I made of Miller Lite cans in our garage.
Destroy my legacy, please, but don’t
stain your shirts on my account.
Devin Taylor studies English and Creative Writing at Washington College. His work can
be found in The Poeming Pigeon, In Between Hangovers, The Lake (UK), and Silicon
Heart Zine. He has forthcoming publications in Gargoyle, Five 2 One, MUSH/MUM,
and Pure Slush. He plays bass and electric kazoo for the DC area band Knuckleberry Finn