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  • Writer's pictureMarías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Noreen Ocampo

there are no jollibees in georgia

after Chen Chen

the spaghetti tastes jollier when it costs a six-and-a-half hour drive to jacksonville, florida, the closest home of jolly spaghetti & the world-famous

bee. everyone seems to prefer chickenjoy to my favorite spaghetti, but when my brother’s eyes stumble over his aloha burger & onto my spaghettied plate,

I think: today I’ve won. I will convert the most resistant palate to my sweet spaghetti. in an unprecedented victory, I trade a corner of the spaghetti tray for a bite

of the burger, recalibrating my brother’s spaghetti taste despite his affinity for authentic italian cuisine. what nightmare fuel— italian eyes on my spaghetti—

in my panic, I spill a half-twirl that leaves my jeans sweet with spaghetti stain, but the sticky does nothing to delay the next plate & sleepy spaghetti thoughts of more.

Noreen Ocampo (she/her) is a Filipina American writer and poet based in metro-Atlanta. She studies English, film, and media at Emory University and currently writes for COUNTERCLOCK and {m}aganda magazine. She is also a regular contributor for Marías at Sampaguitas. Say hi on Twitter @maybenoreen!

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