I thought of you when I was eight;
Mom was saying there’s someone out there
for everyone
and I pictured you on the other side
running errands with your mom too.

I kept you like a ghost
to talk to; you’d laugh
and cry and wait with me—
for my ghost to find your body.

We must have collided before,
our souls are still talking about it—
it’s like we’ve been given the map with directions.

This is called dramatic irony;
our bond is eternal but our awareness is not.

Go back further now,
when I was catching June bugs
in the backyard with my cousins.
They are not June bugs, Mom said,
they are fireflies.
I was six and did not know you,
but I told someone in my head
that June bugs was a better name
and felt like I had a secret.

– Long Beach, CA


Taken in Long Beach, CA

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