Looking At The Floor Poem by The Poet SPIEL

Looking At The Floor

Rating: 5.0

looking at the floor —

— late eyes,
looking up only after you believe no one can see you.
your troubled throat, out of note, like a leather violin,
not dormant, but forever muffled.

the lure of little voices, lingering within you,
wishing to inform you that without your cleavage
you would still be the child whose mouth
he shoved onto a doorknob
as he promised not to hurt you from behind,

not to tell on you,
not to let your mama tell of what she'd seen
about your brothers taking turns on you.

little voices, lure-a-lure, black and blue a loo-a-lure,
insisting that you know you are maria, the woman now,
the lure of voices, all their tiny voices telling:

show your cleavage, show the world your breasts.
buy the distance you desire with their allure.

your little girls are safe now;
rose and angel, he cannot hurt them now.
stella, grace, and darling, your brothers cannot hurt them now.
gloria, pearl, florence, and the others you became:
each a blameless fanny, a variant voice, a tiny, muffled voice,
a lure allure.

jesus was not there for florence;
could not hear her undeveloped voice
when she cried its lure-a-lure.
mary rests beneath the tulips where you buried her,
and stella in the marigolds before your mama cut them down.

it was darling whom your papa forced
to say that it was good
before he would withdraw,
just before you claimed your body back once more,
then told your teacher that you'd fallen down a mountainside
and that was why your arm was broke.
a-lure a-lure all black and blue a-loo a-lure.

you sent gloria to your sky when they finished her.
their football team had won; she was their prize.
you still see her in your sky. still hear her from your sky.
you might use her voice when yours deserts you;

when you forget the tortured leather violin that is your throat
might resonate again,
if you need to choose to use the voice of any child that you became
to get away from carlos then,
to rise up to the ceiling, like when you swallowed all your teeth
as modesto and your papa, devout catholics,
and the cadre of your cousins, pissproud abeytas and vallejos,
had their way with you.

ohh those little voices lingering.
ohh how they tease you now,
lure a lure:

you need not look down at the floor.
you are maria, woman, now.
show your cleavage.
it is your ticket to a man who will gift you with a child
for whom a doorknob opens doors.
the child will be you as you wished to be;
will adore you.
the man will love you,
lure-a-lure, allure. show your breasts now,
lure ah-lure

______The Poet Spiel

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