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, May 4, 2016

"This Heart is Just a Muscle" by Christopher Fox Graham

you point to it
and ask "what does it say?"


this heart is just a muscle
beats and blood
red meat
keeping this body moving
love does not live there

a ribcage prisoner
blind, it will never see the sun
never look upon you
deaf, it will never hear your name
no matter how closely you whisper it
handless, it will never jerk the steering wheel into a U-turn
back to you
it trusts the rest of me
moving symphonically
to avoid a billion red passengers
spilling onto the asphalt or the carpet
through an open wound

if it had desire
it would be for silence beyond a locked door
so it could work uninterrupted

if I'm lucky
it will count 4.4 billion beats
before gunshot or nuclear explosion or lightning bolt
halts the countdown to infinity

this heart is just a muscle
love does not live there
and you cannot change that
no matter how sweet your words slip out
no matter how your curves pull me to lock my hips with yours
and match your rhythms
this heart is just a muscle
love does not live there

but inside this skull
are a trillion neurons firing at random
holding the smell of my grandfather's wheatfields in August
the feel of baseball threads
a gaggle of palindromic primes
the echo of 50 lovers' names
dialects of this singular tongue

whatever this is
the contours of your body
the weight of your name in my ears
the taste of you still in my mouth
it floats somewhere in there
an elusive bolt electricity near lightspeed
billiard-balling the gray matter net
and what it says depends on the impact of ricochets and shockwaves
punching memories of you
into waking moments

if I could purge your infection with antibodies
I would have bled you out months ago

we were not built to hold each other this hard
but I'm unable to unhook you from the rest of me
our houses of cards are built on the day before
and time can’t moonwalk

we are broken machines
with imperfect parts
but if there is love anywhere
it is a frozen moment of you holding me

there is no antivirus to cut you loose
no hard reboot of these systems

I am a ribcage prisoner
of this unrelenting heart
it’s just a muscle
beating blood to all the parts of me
that can still measure the millimeters of your smile
hear you cry my name without consonants
remember how you would pin me down
so we would sleep chest to chest
barenaked in the afternoons
symphonically every muscle still aches your name
still yearns the echoes

this hermetic heart is just a muscle
and it says nothing
love does not live there 
it doesn't have to
the rest of me is so loud with you
I couldn't hear it anyway

2016 © Christopher Fox Graham

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