Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


from People Close To You

                                                                    I.
 

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.

Credit


Copyright © 2010 by Crystal Williams. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Crystal Williams

Crystal Williams is the author of four poetry collections, including Detroit as Barn (University of Washington Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Maine Book Award, and the Cleveland State Open Book Prize.

Date Published: 2010-11-02

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/people-close-you