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Nakaisang-palad | Ivy Alvarez

None of the omens deserted us. When sickness

came to both our houses, we crossed a continent.

An ocean. And back again. The desert

claimed us for a week. A day. Mirageous distances.

We played the part of spouse with verve.

We honeymooned in a grave.

We hailed the life we’d have with each other.

I held your hand. Ignored the signs.

Promises amid the plastic flowers.

Believing they were real.

Filipino idiom meaning married (literally, had palms united)

Ivy Alvarez’s poetry collections include The Everyday English Dictionary (Paekakariki Press), Hollywood Starlet, Disturbance (Seren) and Mortal. Her latest, Diaspora, Vol. L, is forthcoming in 2019. Born in the Philippines and raised in Australia, she lived in Wales for almost a decade, before arriving in New Zealand in 2014.

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