VERSE / Alyce Guynn : Speaking of Feet

C’est le pied / Julien Colombier à Paris / Colombier in his studio / Art as Authority.

Speaking of Feet

Why do you look at my feet
when we speak?

Were we lovers in ancient China
where my feet were bound
in servitude to you
as I hobbled to do your bidding?

Or perhaps I was your horse
who threw a shoe
throwing you to your death

Maybe my feet are reminders
of your mother
who trampled over your feelings
denying your reality
forcing her beliefs down
your tiny throat
all in the name of love

Why do you look at your feet
when I speak?

It is in your eyes I want
the recognition

Your feet are pretty
deserving attention
but now is not the time
to praise or contemplate them

It is like having to compete
with a sibling
these feet of yours
a new baby
who takes away from me
the attention I crave

Since I cannot see myself
I need you to look at me

Why does she keep staring at us
while she listens

It is uncomfortable as feet
to receive so much thought

We’d rather walk
be rubbed and prettied up

Not this contemplation

Ten toes remain
arches high, heels smooth
free of calluses

We are your feet
he is your friend

Meet him with your gaze
let him in


Why do I look at my feet
when you speak?

It is because I am hiding
not wanting you to see
my desire
to stop you

Your words bang on me
an incessant mallet
trying to mold me
into your shape

I don’t want to hear
your latest obsession
your parrot repeating
someone else’s words

I look at my feet
when you speak
because I lack
courage to tell you
to stop.

Why does she look at her feet
when I speak?

Is there something in my face
from which she must turn away?

What does it mean
that she won’t meet my eyes?

Does her looking away
render me invisible?

Did I come naked
unable to drape myself
wanting her to clothe me
in acceptance?

© Alyce Guynn

Alyce Guynn / The Rag Blog
Austin, Texas
June 15, 2009

The Rag Blog

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