Back and forth, you pace upon my wool-felt face.
A loaded German luger shoved deep inside the ladder-
stitched pocket on your inside-out trousers held up
with frayed twine. Eyes roll backwards like electrical
sockets waiting to be turned on.
I am the underbelly of the floor in this wrong-way-round
house listening to the squeak of your soles when you imagine
you are in control. Listening to the swish of your pointer
stroking the luger’s trigger like a wild lover unable to remain
contained. It’s mouth opens wide as a full moon crying out
in a throaty full moan—
a hold-everything, day-of-reckoning, pace-setting, red-herring,
window-dressing kind of full moan. Put-the-phone-down,
pay-attention, take-a-breath, pull-the-trigger kind of full moan.
I’ve been walked on with scuffed heels, slopped over in mud
by biting boots. But I will tell you what lives in the negative
space, what steadies you, what holds your aching arches
to my lips—
strong steel bones hinged to stronger steel bones.
Some say it’s better to be the ceiling than the floor.
Some say it’s better to be a floor-to-ceiling window.
I say it’s better to live inside-out, far enough away
from your rants and your raves—
Plato’s-cave, learn-to-behave kinds of raves. Up-the-ante,
up-your-ass kinds of rants. Go-to-bed, close-the-door,
and the best of course, is get-the-broom and
That’s right, sweep me clean.
You don’t know that while that loaded luger bulges
with a loosened toggle lock straining to release a round,
I’ve become a ghostly sinkhole in the ground. A felt sinkhole
that will pull you further and further down.
I will swallow all the nuts and bolts, leaving you without
a leg or a floor to stand on.
Image: Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Felt Floor), 2003
Resinated wool felt
18 units, each 3 x 54 x 18 inches
Overall 3 x 108 x 168 inches