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attend my funeral

I’d like to pull a disappearing act one day

leap off an elevator & never to be seen again

You’d still hear from me of course

I’d send

          letters & postcards & birthday presents,

voice notes, the occasional text messages,

& a love letter


I’d send you

          my love & my greatest regard

affections & letters stained with lipstick

the faint smell of the vera wang perfume

i wear sometimes


But to see me would be to see an invisible ghost

I’d be barricaded somewhere

Perhaps in Europe or in Bandung

I’d live & live inside somewhere else

There but out of touch

I’d keep up with you & your beautiful lives

I’d send your babies presents

I’d call your wife and tell her congratulations on the third birth

          But the last time you’d see me

would be when they bring my body

back to the homeland, back to Jakarta

I’d be nothing more but

old and frail,

my skin like raisin & my face stiff

my lips would be slightly protruded and purple

They’d dress me in my best white gown

There would be silver and pearls around my neck

and they’d take off my earrings to auction off


You’d be there on the front row,

sitting among my family as you belong

They’d give out those tiny pamphlets full of religious hymns

and bible quotations

          & you’d laugh

i’m irreligious & a sinner


you’d circle my casket and you’d send a prayer

to my favourite philosopher and my favourite author

wishing for their spirits to guide me well

to whatever afterlife I’d be subjected to

          You’d step onto the podium and

You’d talk about me

Tell them my stories & my riddles

Make them laugh with my jokes

Steal the scene like you always do


Take their minds off mourning me

This foreign girl who ran away

This foreign girl foreign to even her own homeland

          You’d go home

And you don’t attend the actual funeral

Because that’s your nature

But you’d tell your grandkids

My stories


Here lies the foreign Chinese Indonesian girl

Weird she was but she wore this vera wang perfume

I like and her stories were the solace and the medicine

for all my blues. We used to sit together in the silence of

the river. And she’d tell me a riddle I still can’t guess.

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