Kenton Yee

For Your Eighteenth Birthday
June 28, 2021 Yee Kenton



Not a car nor papa’s advice.


It’s a fly.
An adolescent in a brown paper bag.
Don’t let it out. It might lay.


Its buzzing will annoy you—like a fly.
You will feel bad for not letting it out.


No, not trips nor tickets this year.


I’m giving you this fly in the prime of its life.
Let the memory linger
like your mother’s voice and mine
after we’re gone.


Its two or three days left inside this bag
are as insignificant as can be


within the expanse of space and time,
as are we, Kenton, as are we.

Kenton K. Yee’s fiction & poetry appear in The Los Angeles Review, Necessary Fiction, PANK, and Strange Horizons, among others. He completed the Iowa Summer Poetry Workshop and is a member of the Attic Institute for Literary Arts in Portland. He writes sheltered-in-place in northern California.