Since you’ve left, the rains haven’t stopped, running downhill
after you, chasing you for your lunch. I’m smoking by that
silver bench, drops punching the fug I blow from my pursed
mouth. My fingers are stained with you. A tree-root strangles
my ankle. I never want to see my father again, the
disappointment mask he likes wearing. Your tongue catches
that last drop of soju and my lungs constrict of their own
accord, and breath is a far country with no visas, no passports.
Previously published in Phantom Billstickers Café Reader.
Ivy Alvarez's second poetry collection is Disturbance (Seren, 2013). She is also the author of several shorter collections, including Hollywood Starlet (Chicago: dancing girl press, 2015) and The Everyday English Dictionary (London: Paekakariki Press, 2016).
A recipient of writing fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Hawthornden Castle and Fundacion Valparaiso, her work appears in journals and anthologies in many countries and online, with selected poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. She lives in New Zealand. www.ivyalvarez.com