Collection 1880s–1940s

Wendy S. Walters. THE ESSENCE OF THINGS. 2019 807

The Essence of Things. Written by Wendy S. Walters

Wendy S. Walters: I’m Wendy S. Walters. THE ESSENCE OF THINGS, After Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space.

Walk along the dark and gleaming street, smooth as a mirror. Here a world beyond what we know exists. A man unloads cardboard boxes from a truck, stacks them as loudly as he can. In the distance, sirens suggest this city or another is poised to commence the season of love. Who isn’t hoping the car will stop in front of their door? The driver passes a white envelope to one of us—the name of the object we need to understand is written inside. Maybe it’s a kitchen utensil or hospital device. Eventually a train arrives, and the platform from which we leap feels, for a moment, unsteady. The woman asleep on the bench, undisturbed by the ruckus, is the special. Once she met her enemy at the corner where she first learned to sing her name. A dream wanders off, taking half our lives as we whisper about shame. People scatter complaints for others to pick up like cubes of stale bread, wear their imaginations beneath hats dressed in hollow quills. Now it’s one hundred years later, and we are welcome to go home. We will lift the drenched leaves up to the light in the morning.

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