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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Hands are in the Mail

a postal carrier whose name I can never know
carries in a package bound for your doorstep:
my paired hands
ten digits linked across two palms
tied with the ribbon of wrists
holding in blood and sinew

I mailed them to you
they became yours when they brushed your skin
held your jaw steady for these lips --
which I can’t remove
lest I lose the last means to whisper your name –
to first fall into your kiss

swallowed by your hair
they’ve never felt home affixed to my radius and ulna
since they caressed your humerus, femur, metatarsus
they’ve longed to be held aside your sternum
cradle your zygomatic bone as you slumber
massage the day’s strains from muscles held tight
between scapula and clavicle

if you want to commit a felony
use these hands to stain the evidence
wrap them around the murder weapon
the poisoned tumbler
the rifle stock
the claw hammer
as you leave the scene
and they will suffer imprisonment
so you may walk free and unburdened

if you don't want them,
pass them onto a stranger
so wherever he or she may wander
there’s a warm hand on the shoulder
assuring in lonely nights
that someone watches over
come foreclosure, homelessness or widowing
lithe fingertips to soothe weary muscles
a palm in which to place dreams and regrets
when the cancer beats the heart into submission
in the sterility of hospital bedrooms
facing the reaper
every man, woman and child
wants to know they left a final handshake behind
a lasting adieu to the pulse of human history

or give them to a child
so a father figure is never too far
a pair of masculine hands to shoo away boogiemen
applaud even if they miss all the play’s lines
cheer on the winning goal
and should war or workplace strife rob them
of a bearded grandfather to play peek-a-boo
with their own children
these hands I give you
to give them
to hold them tight in their grieving
sit silent shiv’ah in the candlelight
wipe tears from unwashed cheeks

these hands are yours
as they’ve always been
do with them what you will

I hope you keep them in your pack
beneath canteen and Swiss Army knife
folded gently in a journal
and when you find yourself
alone alongside a darkened road
under quiet stars shining as nightlights
for your ease into slumber
I hope you pull them out
feel the warmth I imbued into them
like a pagan incantation
and as crickets wonder from where
the second interloper in their living room
suddenly came from
hold them close like a blanket
let the unselfishness of fingertips
soothe away all your daily aches
let them shelter your weary limbs
keep you warm through the night
the parcel postage finally paid
as you permit me to hold you one last time


MusicalAlchemy said...

I can't decide if this is creepy or lovely, but either way it's well written :-)

~Ideas are bulletproof~
-If life gives you melons... you might be dyslexic-

sanguru said...

Your images are strong, passionate, and drown me in emotions. I can imagine the package, her tucking them into her backpack to keep with her as she travels. She is a lucky lady. :heart: