Smearing crushed blackberries across old
wounds, my fingers purple, curl, & claw
into skin. I shatter my morning teacup along
the edge of the table as the fruit trickles, & you
wince at each china fragment’s tiny, jarring screams.
(I am sorry for the trouble.) You do not love me
yet — I wonder if you will, someday & somehow,
even if I am like this, shattering china & scalding
myself with sugarless tea. This morning, your hands
are how I know them: silent, guiding buttered toast
into purpled fingers, unafraid despite how they
curl & claw — still silent as they pour me a new
cup of tea & stir in milk to coax out the bitterness.
You are always coaxing out the bitterness. Someday,
my fingers will remain pale, & we can share morning
tea together. I hope to see you still seated at the
breakfast table then, even though you do not
love me yet — I wonder if you ever will.
Noreen Ocampo is a Filipina American writer and student at Emory University. In the future, she aims to work in the intersection of storytelling and education, and her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Marías at Sampaguitas, 3 Moon Magazine, and Royal Rose, among others.