Kaddish for Charlie and Eliot
The hollow place doesn’t need filling. Trying to pour light into its chasm is like a ghost trying to drink beer. Our ghosts never reached the age of majority.
The hollow place calls out for laughter, fortifies its walls with the sweet ache of the belly.
“Maybe we should sell the Oxys and buy a car? At least a car would be helpful.”
“Maybe we should take all the pills and watch Pixar movies?”
“Yes, but we’ve tried all that.”
The hollow place knows joy. It doesn’t taint so much as it touches. It’s thunderheads flaring off mountaintops, a breeze to cool the honeyed heat. A blanket patting down the tall grass. Black-eyed Suzan’s plucked by a tiny hand, now outstretched offering this bouquet. Six eyes looking at the heart of an afternoon. Three minds wondering where the haints play.
“Don’t climb so high in that tree!”
“He won’t, he gets scared.”
“What if he grows out of it?”
The hollow place hates the city. Flashing lights and speeding cars ripple the dark stilled water of its estuary. The hollow place throbs when prodded with sound. A car idles on the shoulder as the light clicks yellow, red, green.
“Don’t talk to me today/”
“Just shut up today.”
The hollow place doesn’t mind being held, fingers can come together, arms wrap around arms, lips meet lips. But they still cannot swallow the hollow place.
Tiny feet running to the foot of a bed, waiting to gauge the depth of sleep. Two large hearts beating their slow rhythm, a third, squeezes between, pounding rapidly like the chest of a partridge.
Watching a child sleep is like watching chaos theory. We hold the glass close to his lips, waiting until our mirrors are kissed with fog.
The hollow place announces the space between what is living and what has lived. The hollow place is a home that travels well.
“It’s okay to cry… get it all out.”
“I can’t there’s too much.”
The hollow place will drink every tear, but its aphotic waters will never alter.
“Look the Blue Jays are after those squirrels again.”
“Let’s go chase them off.”
“I’ll go get our boy.”
The hollow place loves to chase birds. Listening to their warble as wingtips pump to the skies. The hollow place whispers, “I am here. No matter what, I will remain.” And we smile.
Just because it is hollow does not mean it is empty.
Dylan Taylor is Dad who sneaks off in the small hours to write. Dylan is a writer who spends his afternoons as a dinosaur. He has work published in Scissors & Spackle, the Kentucky Review, decomP, and Crack the Spine. Work forthcoming at WhiskeyPaper. Find him on twitter @MacTaylor89