Notes on Departure by Arleta Little
On this ashen morning, the building lobby fills with people.
White, senior, women, dolled and dressed for lunch, descend from their upstairs apartments.
Young black writers file in, filling small plastic couches in a restless repose that is poised for retreat.
Earbuds and Ipods beat counterpoint to walkers and wheelchairs.
In both groups, the women outnumber the men.
Brown and bouncing Beyonces
“All the single ladies, all the single ladies”
White-haired and wilted widows
“All the single ladies, all the single ladies.”
The elevator doors open and a shriveled Sheeba emerges
Sitting upright in a hospital robe,
she smiles and waves to the gathered crowd, her hand moving in small circles
As paramedic eunuchs buoy her railed barge to an ambling chariot of fire.
At half-passed the hour, the writers load their luggage and lengths into vans
And a long yellow bus arrives for the luncheon ladies.
Seats fill with selves
Selves set to Emerge, selves grown and shed in place.
Seabirds circle and land in an asphalt lake,
White and black feathered flyers now walking on water
Common gulls in route to Phoenix.