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  • Writer's pictureMarías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Noreen Ocampo

dirty dishes

In my mind, I shatter

all of the mugs in our cupboards,

& the floor screams &

sounds just like you. My ears ring

with yellowed phrases

only forgotten when I lapse into

dream, so I carve would-

be retorts with a triangular shard.

I give you the truth.

I explain why I haven’t written you

a birthday card since

I learned how to write. Why don’t

you tell me the last time

you loved me, the last time I filled

you with a color other

than all your least favorite ones?

My teeth grind china

fragments into powder, the taste

only softened by your

oblivious flowers & bees. I swallow.

You will not hear me

today. I will submerge our dirty

dishes in water & gently

scrape a sponge over the cracks.

Noreen Ocampo (she/her) is a Filipina American writer double-majoring in English and Film Studies at Emory University. She is also currently a book reviewer for COUNTERCLOCK, a very amateur singer-songwriter, and an Animal Crossing enthusiast. In the future, Noreen aims to fulfill a role in the intersection between storytelling and education. She is a regular contributor for Marías at Sampaguitas.

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