by Noreen Ocampo


Our umbrella unfurls into the mist

like bird wings preparing for flight,

but we are not headed anywhere.


I prefer it like this, the lines of your

hand curled against mine & the stains

of old ink curled against yours—our


toes scraping cobblestone, aimless &

easy. This is our nature. I would die

content even if the rain kissed us away


& we melted between cobblestone

gaps. My thumb presses into the back

of your hand, into the rain, feels it


ride along my fingertip-whorls. Perhaps

the days are still too young for us to

become drainwater, but I finally understand


why my father raised me never saying

goodbye. You make it impossible when

the love in your eyes is laced with apology


I understand you must go soon, leave me

beneath the underside of the white sky

only because you know I feel safe here.


Let me stop time for a moment.


You notice immediately, smiling at the

familiar sensation of our bodies’ clocks

winding into a shared silence. Our footsteps


continuing, you & I continuing. We are

easy & content, even as seconds sing anew

& the bird wings finally attain flight.



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.




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