On Leaving by Arlene Ang
A woman may go around
for weeks with a check list: windows,
gas, subscriptions, bills. She empties the house
like a bladder. What she can't sell
of the furniture, she gives
away. In the end, she's left
to sleep on the floor, order Chinese.
Everything grows cold, and her appetite
is first to go. She makes it so
that leaving becomes a release.
And perhaps, as she's halfway
out the door, she'd wonder if she forgot
to turn off the lights upstairs.
She'd turn back and see her daughter
by a woman's bedside, holding the hands
that have lost their sense of touch.
Arlene Ang is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being a collaborative work with Valerie Fox, Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (Texture Press, 2008). She lives in Spinea, Italy where she serves as staff editor for The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1. Website: www.leafscape.org.