Because the river is never still enough to reflect the sky,
I want to stay. I want to say
to strangers, who say I love you, it’s untrue.
The mirrors of their eyes only blind me.
There’ll be no ovation. There’s hardly a road.
Home is a distant thought, hovering on a squall.
I spot a chapel in the shade
covered in lichen’s dull brocade.
No-one’s looking at me, kid.
Take a flake of rock, scratch the word
Ingrid into bark, letter by letter.
By the force of my hand,
I might earn permanency.
Let that plane leave without me.
Ivy Alvarez is the author of Mortal (Washington, DC: Red Morning Press, 2006). She held both the MacDowell Fellowship (USA) and the Hawthornden Fellowship (UK) in 2005. Her poetry appears in journals and anthologies worldwide and online, including Cordite Poetry Review, Famous Reporter, Poetrix, Hecate and Moorilla Mosaic: Contemporary Tasmanian Writing. Ivy was born in the Philippines and grew up in Tasmania. She is currently resident in Cardiff, Wales, having previously lived in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.