from People Close to You - Crystal Williams

Original Jenny Mendes - Set of Ceramic Sculpted - Two Heads Salt and Pepper Shakers

Two Heads - Jenny Mendes

She asks if she can sit on the bench &; it is that kind of day in Santa Monica, slow & gentle so that when she sits, properly, like a teacher or the pudgy mother of a girl named Marilyn, in unison you raise your round faces. The wind hefts the voices of your deadlings. They are serious &; sorrowful women, full of warnings, but today seem content to let you be, saying only, Child, be thankful, open your chest, that great cavern, to our other sister. & so you watch the sea.

Who knows what the woman beside you hears: there are so many languages in the world & your tongue is tied to this one. So you sip iced tea &; lean a bit forward into them, your gone women, your sages, who seem to be stroking your head. You begin to imagine the ocean floor as a cup, the pouty lips of God, the soft foam, the salt as if food, tasting sweet &; clear.

I heard Williams read at a writing conference years ago and was so moved I fled the auditorium before the lights came up so that no one would see me weep - as in the first stage of the ugly cry. 

If she comes to your town, go hear her read. Bring tissues. And sunglasses.  

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