‘A thousand hearts’ by Noreen Ocampo

No one has ever pulled me apart
like this. Unraveled & restitched in one
season, laced tight & secure: I feel

entirely new. A thousand hearts’ worth
of love for you & us & everything—
my heartstrings reclaimed as my own

again. Even the birthright of flames
in my throat crackles more peacefully.
I love you for loving me even as I

clench & shatter my teeth to keep you
from tasting the fires I have yet to befriend.
You treat the embers flying from my lips

like lightning bugs, introduce them to the
honey bees from your heart, & it is no
wonder that spring smiles easily this year.

Noreen Ocampo is a Filipina American writer studying English and film at Emory University. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in perhappened, ang(st), and Versification, among others. Say hello on Twitter @maybenoreen

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