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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"She Loved Me Better On Paper," March 31/31 Project

For Doc Luben's March 31/31 Project

She Loved Me Better On Paper
By Christopher Fox Graham

she loved me better on paper
it was easier to forgive my sins
the ones deletable
or ascribed to fast typing or bad penmanship
on second reads it was simpler
to prepare herself for previously discovered ones

she loved me better on paper
flesh was too temperamental
too harsh with spoken words
too adaptive to her moods

when she got fed up with the content therein
she could not close the pages
and place me on the shelf
then grow to forget the offenses,
fondly recall the quotables
reinvest herself in the mystery
of footstep word after word
marching reincarnate on the same path
from moment to moment
pull me back into her wearied hands
and relive the story again from the beginning

paper was easier to throw away
to set ablaze and watch burn
skin, it seems, has a fouler odor
scratches and scars don’t heal with the same cleanliness
as those pencil marks needing erasure

even now,
she still loves me better on paper
prefers the me captured in moments
frozen in ink on pressed wood pulp
the notations she marks
remain without my trademark forgetfulness
or willful delusionary deception

in print, she owns me as she likes
without having to concave her ego
bend to match me in mutual reverence
admit she, too, could be mistaken sometimes
on the pages,
she is always right, my errors unrepentable
a good lover can shamelessly admit wrong
confess to death-penalty guilt
even when in the right

she loved me better on paper
but forgets to understand
those dead words will never breathe
unchanging youth frozen immortally vampiric,
they will one day suck the life from her
pull her into the longing for more
but unanswered
they will be just a tombstone of text
made by a dead man years ago

there is no ghost here, child,
he does not inhabit these pages
buried in your backpack or bookcase
his soul is still dancing elsewhere
breathing in the sunrises with wine-stained lips
somewhere else, he kisses the moonlight
and whispers to stars who’ll still listen
about how he loved this girl

she adores those paper words
but they can never hold her
never caress her bare gymnast’s back
soothe her into sleep
wake her into daybreaks
remind her why lovers always come in pairs

she loved me better on paper
in the same way
I loved her better in absence
because our present was untamable
it demanded too much compromise
too much acquiesce to the other

she loved me better on paper
but he can never say he was sorry
never reiterate that love
— the kind of love that forever tugs at all that aches
demands a heart break itself open
when she traipses through the mind from photographs —
that kind of love does not require reciprocation
saints, martyrs, crazies and dogs teach us this

while the flesh me has no one to say those things to
just lets the words fall from his lips
spill out into the ether
crawl into new pages
onto new paper
so she can love it instead

revere, write, abide
papers yearn for her
it will suffice
it must
it has to

1 comment:

YokoPyro said...

This is intense.
It's all I can conjure - otherwise, I'm speechless.