Three Poems – David M. Taylor

David M. TaylorDavid M. Taylor teaches at a community college in St. Louis, MO. His work has appeared in magazines such as Maudlin House, Philosophical Idiot, Misfit Magazine, and Trailer Park Quarterly. He also has three poetry chapbooks–M&Ms and Other Insignificant Poems, Two Cobras in a Ritual Dance, and Life’s Ramblings.

 

Entry Fees

I never tell my family
I write poems
that steal their stories
and bind them to eternity.

I capture their words,
shackle them to blank pages
where they struggle to break free
like a cold sun suffocating
in the distance of space.

Their stories hold my blood
that fell to the cracked earth
and fed my shadow
in burning summer afternoons
when I’d slice open my skin.

The stanzas claim the pain,
if only for a moment,
so I can make sense of the scars
that grew over my paper skin.

They are a tattered album
carrying memories
for the entry fees I’ve paid.

And my poems are the receipt.

 

Magazine Covers

When I was thirteen
I loved a girl
who wore three earrings
in each ear.

She lived in a group home
up the street
and was friends with my sister.

They’d listen to music
and dance around our house,
pretending they were on magazine covers,
that their lives were something more.

One day she kissed me
like the people in music videos
and I finally felt her pain,
the kind that comes
from trying to hold on to smoke.

I wanted to say something
but didn’t have the words.

I remember her every time
an 80s song plays on the radio
and try to remember that moment,
but it’s like trying to hold on to smoke.

 

Gravity

I found a poem I wrote years ago
about when my brother beat me
while dunk during a cold afternoon,
how my thin bones broke
from being thrown down the stairs of our house.

I remembered his heavy hands
as they bruised my soft frame
and that each step was immovable
as I tried to fight gravity.

I wrote the poem to claim the moment,
so I could bend it to my will
and force the memory to make sense
to a six-year-old child.

But I didn’t have words to capture
the dull pain the fall created
or how my blood ran deeper
than other times before.

And as I stumbled through the lines,
I couldn’t help but wonder
what my brother would be like now
if he were still alive.

If he had called a taxi instead.

Would he still carry this memory,
like I carry his scars,
or would it have simply been replaced.