This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 423,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

dream deferred

i smelled you on my skin today
sugary sweet
as if you had slipped in while I slept
traced footsteps on my eyelids
left before I woke
no notes on the nightstand
no kisses on the cheek
no lipstick “I love you”s
scrawled on the mirror
wandering specter of
the poltergeist of my haunted head
you creak the stairs
flicker the lights
and appear in reflections
an apparition of my past life;
a past wife that mysteriously disappeared
and now haunts the halls
like a Jane Austin novella

your absence is unbearable
so I’m inventing the technology
to clone you from your fingertips
duplicate your smile
from the one tattooed to my lips

but replicating your motion proves a complication
because you are anything but tame
salsa and samba
shake your hips
like a sidewinder
though I never saw you dance
but the venom of that vision
makes my limbs limp
don’t suck the poison out
it hurts
how I love it
it hurts how I
love it
watching you toss those hips
like a South American coup
every other second

Lorca and Neruda
spin in their sonnets
because the were born too late
to know you
Pablo keeps asking for an introduction
and Federico is full of false promises
begging to see your skin

but only I know
how you are three shades more bronze than me
a color that does not exist except on you
so I’m spending way too much time
trying to match your complexion
like they do paint at Home Depot;
soon it will cover every inch
of every room in my house

only I know how to read the cartography of your back like a treasure map
charting a course starting at your neckline
meandering down your spine
to the basin of your back
just above those vicious hips

only I know the imprint of your aroused aroma
and could bottle it as ‘Arizona nights’
but Hilfiger and Klein couldn’t pay me enough
to surrender a drop of your scent
I told them Tommy cologne on day-old skin
and cold tortillas fresh from the fridge
once reminded me of you
the same way warm bread
makes one recall grandmother long gone
or peaches bring back the morning
after you traded your virginity
for whatever this is called …
but their marketing departments
said that analogy wasn’t economically viable

it doesn’t matter
because you never made sense
like freeway speed bumps,
dehydrated water
a Republican with a soul
or martyrs who would rather burn than lie

you’d think a burning saint
would smell like ambrosia or lavender
but they reek like your arm
brushing against the carburetor
indistinguishable from a sinner’s skin

the difference between that scar and a sign
is interpretation compounded by time

which means we’re a circumstance
and a coincidence
closer to god than we thought
which is closer than I’d rather be most days
so close, in fact,
you can almost smell it

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