Three Poems by Maya Williams

pressing-comb.jpg

Thank You

You said you understood
why I cried
as I let you

hold me

for what felt like
five minutes
when it could have just been two.

We don’t have to explain
why we changed
our plans about the movie.

Honestly, I had no intention of
watching one anyway.

You probably didn’t either.

You let me lean
against
you and hold

your hand.

Your fingers
trace my neck
and shoulders.

Honestly, it’s been so lonely
on my end.

You’ve probably been lonely yourself.

We kiss.

We bite.

We lock tongues.

Honestly, it all tickles in a good way;
it helps me sometimes think of him.

You probably thought of her sometimes too.

For Granny’s Hot Combs No Longer in Use

My maternal grandmother does not own
hot combs
anymore.

Updated technology in straightening out
kinks
and
curls
makes the hot comb practically non-existent.

No more fascination with the metal device
heating
on top of the stove.

The hair grease seated nearby
for emphasizing the heat’s smoothing from
her roots
to
her ends.

No more allowing time to settle
as she waits for the temporary
redness
of the comb.

Instead of an hour and thirty minutes
to two hours,
flat irons cut the time in half.

We are hustling more nowadays.

I should have the natural instinct to view the
hot comb
and other tools after it
as a weapon
against the
resistance
to norms we call our hair.

But
there is
intimacy
the hot comb provides.

Did the misunderstandings
lead to faster tools as a way to
escape the
conformity
faster?

But
my grandmother is no
conformist.

Hair picks,
laces,
and wigs
were in her arsenal of
grooming preparations
as well.

The hot comb
has been her longest
go-to
in her
unconventional
style.

And now
it’s gone.

For My Client

Her son gives her these
tiny
pink and purple
flowers.

They’re floating in a mug
printed
with
pink and purple
flowers.

The mug is filled with
more water
than the plants need.

Nevertheless,
she still smiles
so wide.

Her false teeth
are gleaming from the
sunlight
free enough to
break its way
through the window.

Her smile
is
the first sight
of spring.

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