There Was No White Wedding

In the Philippine summer

after my matriculation, I was failing

to explain to my aunt

via my mother’s frustrated

sign language:

I was not married.

Her misunderstanding arose

upon receiving a photograph

of a smiling couple:

myself in a tuxedo

and a young woman in ivory,

clutching a vendela rose

bouquet and beneath,

flourishing English calligraphy

commemorating my junior prom.

The only other language my aunt knew

was Ilocano; rural Filipino

schools had held no promenades.

My aunt pointed toward

her coffee table and the photo

of my senior prom.

I sighed;

I shook my head.

I had not re-married.

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