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.