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Chapel | Alicia Claire de Mello

my grandmother died two weeks ago,

and my aunt organized her funeral

there’s a wake first

at a stale chapel in South San Francisco

with diamond-shaped roofing, pitched and lifted by wooden beams

wilted day-old flowers border the pews

high pile carpeting collecting years of dust

a condescending priest

who tells us not take Eucharist if we aren’t practicing Catholics

my eyes look to her casket and I imagine she is turning over already

we bury her in Colma next to my grandfather,

who survived the holocaust in ‘45

but could not survive a brain tumor in ‘82

she was 96 and her life was longer than his

i should find some comfort in that


Alicia Claire de Mello is a queer poet and writer born and raised in the Bay Area of California. Currently based in Los Angeles, her writing attempts to find a balance between explicit memories and metaphorical feelings.



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