For Julien who always sat beside her

No one knows I come out here at nights
I sit on the bench facing the lake
opening boxes of frayed letters -

one was postmarked Bonn
winter your handwriting said
a snowflake made the 'i' spread

another was all monotone trivia
Martin is 26, Vincent is 21 and I'm 28 now
a by-product of a father's last brush with religion

still another contained nothing extraordinary
except my fascination with the fading
smell of ink on your right hand -

each suffering the same fate

Two years of careful origami
and my sailboats never reach you.

Ryel Alviola has worked behind the scenes as a legislative staff for the past four years. She divides her time between her home town of Cebu City and the capital Manila.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761