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.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Taste of Brownies

The Taste of Brownies
For Lori-Ann Rella, my "sister from another mister,"

we sat over brownies the last night
relating in our particular linguistic dance
the stories of the last six months
recounting in details only we knew
how a brother and sister should speak
when all secrets are thrown aside
and we knew the combinations
to the hall closets
where daddy keeps the gun
and mommy hides her booze

“remember when …”
“oh, yeah, that, wasn’t that a good time?”
“only because no one got hurt,”
the instigations and infidelities
that defined darker days
the anecdotes of our soap opera life
all the lies laid bare
without pretext that this deception or that
had to be believed
and we could compare what defines us
the real us beneath façade
when the mask of formality set aside
and we see our nakedness reflected
with moles and scars exposed to open airing
talk honestly and slow
about the facts and figures
compare the notes borne through our veins
bled out over bare skin

over brownies
she showed me her scars
and I measured the entry wounds
told her what each press of skin meant
while she anecdoted the chapters
in chronological order
until I could Cliffs Notes the story for others

over brownies I told her
that with a new lover
I was becoming a unrepentant sadist
wanting her to suffer vividly
due to how she wounds me privately
but resented the shame in holding that power
but over brownies,
she patted my head
and told me that she had faith
that my atheist countenance
would find the path
back to the man I wanted to be

over brownies,
we flipped forward a few pages
read the stories we had yet to live
planned out how we’d like to reach there
compared law and loopholes
that technicalities and linguistic tenses
could alleviate

over brownies
I said my goodbyes
to a sister I was soon to lose
knowing unwritten stories rarely
follow the outline we so exhaustively prepare
coffee spilt on the manuscript
newborn babies interrupting writing rituals
tornadoes and career changes
adjust all the details
until we forget where we left our lucky pens
or the chunk of dialogue
that seemed so flawless last night
but unrealistic this morning

over brownies
I knew she was leaving
the chapter between us was over
and a new one would pick up
time zones apart in media res
I knew then
but such things mean little before the fact
only in retrospect moments in ages hence
can we state clear hindsight
of days gone by
I knew our future but bit my tongue
swallowed the late-night conversation
without chewing the meaning into unrecognition
enjoyed what was shared between us:
a plate of brownies to say goodbye

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