Gargoyle 37/38
Cover Photo of Louise Brooks
Published 1/1/1990


Miriam Sagan

Say what you want about mountains
Say what you want about guitars
This woman’s heel comes down
She strikes her heel

Say what you want about volcanoes
Or about fascist colonels
This woman raises her arms
And she strikes her heel

Say a woman’s back is like a cello
Or maybe a violin
Go out in the street and riot
Sit at the kitchen table and sob

It’s just that underneath my words
There’s a place that is also silent
Just as there is flamenco
Beneath all the coins and knives

Soon the singers are crying: Maria
Soon the musicians are calling her name
The old men are tapping the table
The ankles have a life of their own

And everyone calling: Maria Maria
Not on the Virgin Mother of God
But on the woman whose heel comes down
Who is nobody’s mother at all.