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 670,000 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.

Friday, August 7, 2009


i will mail myself to you
place a postage stamp
just above my heart
that beats your name in your absence
throbbing in the ache
to remind my fingertips
through the transit of veins
that they once shared the same intent
to graze the goose bumps on your skin
lose sight of the sun
as they sunk beneath the waves of hair
and share the flavor of your pores

I'll crouch low in the baggage compartment
between boxes of old papers and used shoes
shipped between lovers who parted in sighs
whispering, "i promise to return for you"
transfigured into "i promise to return to visit"
and settling on "i promise to return for my stuff"
de-evolved into the hollow conveyance of property
as "i still miss you" wrapped in red tissue paper
hardened into a cardboard shell
and the point with rounded arches
grew upright into a cube with an overlapped lid
duct taped and sealed against prying ears
who could hear the way sorrow echoes
at 30,000 feet above Iowa

i'll shiver in the high-altitude chill
write my initials in the frost
with yours beneath
encircled that still-throbbing heart
so that if the cold kills me
at least these boxes will understand why
remember their pre-cubic shape
the sound of tissue paper crinkling
convey to the contents inside,
the abandoned orphans betwixt guardians
who will recall that they were once packed
by loving hands dampened by wiped-away tears
and the soft stammering
of "i will return, i will return"
spoken with macarthur's hope
but bonnie prince charlie's acquiesce

after touchdown,
i'll walk in perfect step with the baggage handlers
stand upright as they cancel the postage
leaving a wavy tattoo
emblazed onto my chest
patiently sit in the back of the van to your town
and climb inside your mailbox
to nap until you bring me inside
then rest eagerly between the unopened bills
and soon-to-be castaway junk mail
waiting for you to find the time to open me,
perhaps while on the phone
or waiting for the pasta to boil
or watching the cat lap up cream
before you retire to bed

you'll bring me to your room
half-opened but as yet unread
perch me precariously on the nightstand
above postcards from foreign cities
with hard-to-pronounce names
and beneath the torn-cover paperback novel
that lulls you to sleep
and some morning a day or two later
you'll pull me to you while sipping coffee
open me wide to your sunrise
trace your fingertips along the stamp's ragged edge
and my worn exterior
read me with the intensity of your books
wonder privately what path I took to reach you
press your palm to my chest
raise the goose bumps on both our skins
and restart my heart
back to the throbbing pulse it once remembered
with a rhythm that makes us both imagine
relearning how to ride a bicycle
like we did once when we were children


ATrueNorseman: said...

quite a love letter ;P

YokoPyro said...

The parallel between the journey of the character and the journey of the piece itself is quite striking, and very tender.
Beautiful piece.