Swear that you’ll be there
to send me away. Hold
my withered palms
in yours, and blanket
the casket with flowers, purple
like the ones that littered the
field where we spent
our Saturday afternoons.
Don’t let people wear black
at the funeral, you know
how much I hated the darkness.
Let them come dressed
in dazzling golds and vivid crimsons,
colors so vibrant you’ll swear
a phoenix just respawned.
Quit your job—you’ll object, I know,
but I’ve always hated the image of you
in that cramped, cluttered cubicle,
shifting papers and typing memos,
you don’t wear conformity well.
Leave the country.
Venice is supposed to be gorgeous
all year round
(though spring especially),
so catch the first flight there, and
for just once in your life, watch
the sun set, enjoy
the scarlet skies succumbing to inky night.
When your voyage ends,
go back to the house, it should
look the same, albeit an unkempt lawn
and peeling paint.
Let people take anything, except
the Rembrandt over the fireplace,
the mugs that held
our morning tea, and the grand piano.
Make them promise to use
what they take, don’t let it go to waste.
Donate the rest to charity.
Then let the house overflow
with magazines, essays,
novels, stories, and poetry
of ancient warriors and fallen heroes
(promise me you’ll read
them every day).
And every year, remember to
visit me, just once, maybe twice,
and watch the daybreak
beside me, dew quenching
the lips of an impatient earth,
flowering shoots giving way
to fragrance reminiscent
of years past.
This is a reprint of work originally published in Cuckoo Quarterly.
Kimberly Tan is currently a 16-year-old student from San Jose, California. She is extremely active in her school’s literary magazine and recently co-founded a literary magazine at her local middle school. Her work in both literary and expository writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, San Jose Mercury News, Cuckoo Quarterly, and other publications.