Outside Whole Foods by Eliot Wilson

Photo of bus in front of tree with green and red leaves
Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

We always seem to get the red light here,
just close enough to Whole Foods to see in
while the bus kneels to unfold the ramp
that allows the ex-marine and his dog
to board and position themselves to go.
Across from me, a woman eats frosting
from a container with a plastic spoon.
And this early, the Whole Foods is aglow.
These are the wives of software engineers
or they are software engineers themselves,
orchid-stem skinny, flushed from hot yoga,
selecting whatever appeals to them
under a hanging wave of kombucha
Then a new herd arrives, enters the light.
Preternaturally at-home, sleek and trim,
they discerningly squeeze the avocados
or stand at a table of pre-shucked corn
thatched like the roof of a golden cottage
before traipsing towards the high-end cheese.

Five dollars for a head of green cabbage
My fellow passenger says with distain.
As far as I’m concerned they can have it.

The light green, our bus finally heaves away.
She puts down her frosting and fills her eyes
the way outcast Eve gazed at paradise.

Eliot Khalil Wilson
Eliot Khalil Wilson is the author of The Saint of Letting Small Fish Go ( CSU Press, 2003); This Island of Dogs (Aldrich Press, 2014); and The Lunatic’s Left-Hand Man (Golden Walkman Press, 2017). He lives in Denver, Colo. with his wife and family.

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