a funeral in my backyard

if we count each day of being alive
we find blackened sky at four a.m.
& firefly fever in the long night
i sneak out the back door of
the painted-over house
& i pray over your body
(or maybe the idea of it)
nothing happens, clear moon
spilling into the grass beneath my bare feet.
i pray without religion so i wait
for the sun to go missing
fireflies kiss my knuckles, sweat runs from my collarbone like i gave it
permission / rusted basketball hoop and deflated ball
by the fence.
used to climb the fence with you and (you know) we could fly
leaves crunch beneath my feet and i stumble home where i will wait for you
(just make sure to knock) or the gravity will pull me under & i cannot
defy the stars much longer.

Chloe Chou is a high schooler from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is serving as the Daly City Youth Poet Laureate and the South San Francisco Youth Poet-in-Residence for the 2022-2023 term. In her free time, she loves writing poetry and making mixtapes.

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