Because I couldn’t stand hearing you
attempt Henley’s or Frey’s or Timothy B. Shit’s high notes
on whichever guaranteed Eagles tune was on the car radio;
because you even knew you couldn’t approximate
Brad Delp rawk n rawl yelping
“SIGNNNNNED THE RECORD COMPANY CONTRACT”
in “Rock and Roll Band” by Boston—
yet tried again and again with ever worsening results;
because your voice sounded brittle as the bones
of the Life Alert carrying senior you never gracelessly aged into:
when we drove to medical appointments,
we listened to Classical WETA
despite that your singing made
you so happy you went straight from the hospital
to church—your last Christmas Eve, 2018—
to sing with the choir against the doctors’ wishes.
Classical music didn’t change much at all:
your larynx still vibrated along
to the instrumental remains of whichever
dead white guy I dunno the name of,
like some warbling, bee-sized bird
whom I’d like to place in my open palm
and slam my fist down like a carnival hammer—
the violent force shooting a ball skyward,
(like a drunken cowboy’s yee-haw bullet)
to ring a bell: DING DING DING
Instead of an officially-licensed, stuffed, franchise furry friend,
I’ve won the prize of a swift and painless death—
death for your music.
I hope you are singing wherever you are or aren’t.
I miss aspects of your voice.
I would prefer you to speak,
but welcome even your tone-
Devin Taylor holds a B.A. in English and minors in Creative Writing and Psychology from Washington College (Chestertown, MD). His writing can be found in Gargoyle, Jersey Devil, The Southampton Review Online, and elsewhere. He is working on two poetry collections: DEAD DAD INC and MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING.