Hollow Shells

how many times can you poke
a turtle with a stick
until you realize it’s gone?
because here I am
standing ankle-deep in a pond
of attempts and apologies
picking moss
and unread texts
off a branch
when it hits me—
it’s just a shell
filled only with forgotten birthdays
and missed plans
and gnats
that’s been decaying this whole time,
and I am the only one
with wet socks.
and you are dry
making turtle soup.

About the Author

Julianna Riccioli is a student at the University of Texas at Austin. She fills her heart with plants, music, and coffee. The above piece is forthcoming in the Eunoia Review.