Poems by DS Maolalai

𝘗𝘰𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘚𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵



The ritual


trading her colours

from apples to plums, chrys

applies lipstick

and smiles at her lips.

chrys combs out the dust

and remains of the daylight.

selects something stylish

and sits at the window,

listening as traffic sinks

like the tinkle of water

being poured into a lake.

I am in the kitchen

and waiting to leave

in a jacket

and bad humour.

we have plans—opatI don't want

to miss our plans.

I am drinking

from a cold

glass of water. I bring her

some water to drink.



Waking up to voicemail


took the dog for a walk.

and it's after 12 here

the only people

junkies out

and those incredibly strong men

you see at night jogging

topless and carrying bags of rocks.

something beautiful

about it, I don't know.

like the way empty buses

remind you

of empty flowerpots.

I'm just off a zoom call. pretty hammered.

thought it would be nice

to talk to you.



Morning to pods of dolphins


and we arrived in town

an hour ago and aodhain

was on the sofa, dressed

in a t-shirt and pants, alternating coffee

with sips from a glass of water. he knew

we were coming, but didn't know

when we'd arrive. and now

I'm with him

and we’re shopping,

buying wine to go with dinner,

and beer for afterward

and breakfast things. chrysty

cooks steaks at his place

and looks around while we're out. it's dingle;

five hours from dublin. lately

he's been living down here.

I ask him

is he going to stay

and he doesn't know -

he's finished, finally, with college

and waiting

while they mark

his phd. he is not working,

but says it's cheap to live here.

looking at the booze prices, I'm not sure I agree,

but perhaps he won't be drinking.

in a place like this

you don't have to drink

if you don't want to. his house

faces the sea. he wakes up every morning

to pods of dolphins

stitching the blue

like thread in denim jeans. and now

we are on the street

walking home. tourists flock,

eat chowder and take photographs.

hold up traffic. we maneuver through them -

I have the beer in a box, he two bottles

and some snacks and sausages. when we were teenagers

we tore this town to pieces; flags left up all night,

ripping in high winds. in the morning

most of the beer will be left

and one of the bottles. and now we're at the house

and chrysty's steaks are ready. they're delicious

with red wine and peppersauce.

we eat outside,

add just a little salt.




DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).

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