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.

Monday, January 9, 2017

"I am echoes of empty moments" by Christopher Fox Graham

I am echoes of empty moments
the days with you:
drunk-night glimmers
flashing into sober mornings
reminding what was when;

you are 200-proof moon-shine moonshine
the press of your sleeping hips
hangovering me
headaches of your smile
body aches of your kisses
AA means something else
and there are twelve-hundred steps
to recovery
I cannot piss your DNA out from my liver
it’s deeper than my bones
shotgunning kegstands of your arms around me

I want you, summer lemonade
sweet-and-sour kick in the teeth
burrowing corkscrew cavities into molars
your mint-julep biceps holding me down
your voice a gazebo piano ballad
earworming a melody the rest of me misharmonizes

this old body was too young in you
you, too old for the time we had
we charted inevitability
we lived the prequel of the now-that-must-be
we plotlined the time-travel TV movies
we echoed thunder before the lightning
and in the now-that-must-be,
20-20 foreshadowing hindsights foresight

I still get drunk you in the moonlight
shape constellations into us
dismiss the stars that don’t connect
as figments of imagination
we, too stubborn to let the heavens disappoint

outside this skin built of metal adamantium strong
unbreakable in the winter sun
but inside the boy still shimmers in your afterglow
someone I knew once
he shared my bones
hoped so hard for fate to fail
hoped so hard time was a hiccup
we could reshape in our image

but without étui, the bedsheets of time
only fold now to then
never make now then
inside, he’s running away with you
flying elsewhere on someone else’s wings
but cannot escape this unventilated skin
he’ll suffocate in
rather than breathe new air

I’m supposed to be stronger than this
stoically accept your absence as a must-be
pass on the days without tears
get over you as all things do
fish-in-the-sea-ing our moments into someone else
less shimmeringly iridescent
but I can’t
I don’t know how
and I have no one to tell,
so your DNA leaks out of my liver
cirrhosising me to death
no one sees the lesions
covering this skin in a new armor
fresh-milk skin in each dawn
stitched together with dried salt threads

because you slipped in under the skin
some night when we shared the same bedroom air
fermented in our sweet sweat and whispers –
in dreams, all my stalwartness comes for naught
I cannot bleed you from my blood
you pump my broken-glass heart into synapses
irresistant when I sleep
reconstituting you back into being nightly

resever these heels so I can’t outrun you
torment me, tied to a kitchen chair
from these lips, draw some hallelujah,
which sounds more like your name
than any heavenly hymn
or late-night radio replay on backcountry roads

tonight as the sun sets and overweight lids heavyize
no volume of drink or caffeine
can keep me from you
or you 
out of me

it’s why I fight sleep so desperately
whatever war I wage in daylight
your irredentist reconquest reseizes in moonlight
paradoxing our ontology

make this heart ache again
bodyslam my mind against my skull again
this is the only real I feel most days
and agony bests absence
because it means there’s still someone here

or me 

or someone in between

even if it’s just a boy’s death throes


bleeding out

Christopher Fox Graham © 2017

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