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DS Maolalai

Don’t u just wish.

by DS Maolalai



dont u wish
the world
could be easy? and here i am
sunday night
typing away
fallen memories of old friends
& girlfriends
& things
that happened
as the wine
steadies down
like a thermometer
in a sudden snow.
the job
will be as it was before
& i will eat a chicken sandwich
& drink hot coffee
written on it.
on my break
ill stand on the roof of the building
and watch ships
coming in and going out
like emails
& pass the time
tasting the air
& tasting
(i will imagine)
the salt freshness
of breeze
that means
the sea.




A little squirrel.


I dont remember her name
but she had short hair like a boys bob
and big eyes under it
and she said she worked in films
mostly doing small stuff
set dressing and organising props
and when I got on top of her
she went mad as a little dog at the doorbell
arms all over the place
wild and fingery
as if sex was something that suddenly brought life to death
and cracked wind against flagpoles
or broke open old wood
to reveal a sudden ebb and commotion of maggots
and her body was small as teaspoons
and not yet fat
and she moved with such whip-snapping
that she almost dragged the come out of me
like a magician’s handkerchief
and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me think of you
and how gentle you were in bed
like a little squirrel
cautious about offerings
and I thought
               I’ll never tell her about this
she never needs to know
because if she knew she’d understand
and never let me near her again
and when I got back to Toronto
you were still away
and it was easy
getting used to lying to you
until you got back.




The coward.


I come back
after 4 years away
and still
it’s the same – my friends
gay jokes,
still laughing at the idea
of fucking someone
who used to be a man – one is convinced
that his boss only beat him to management
because the company wanted to be seen
to be progressive,
one says
his university
is stopping fascists from talking
because they don’t believe in speech anymore.
I get quiet
and laugh along with the jokes,
my pretty chinese girlfriend,
the guys I drank with in kensington,
the one time Dani got a black eye
because she told this fascist guy to fuck off away from her
and showed me all the
anti-nazi tattoos on her back
and along her shoulder –
I come home
after 4 years away
and it’s still the same
but louder
and I stay quiet
and drink along with them
because it’s nice
all the same
to still have friends
to come home to
when you come home.




my sister writes –


she asks me
if there are any tv shows i think she should watch
and then tells me
since she’ll be spending some time in vietnam
i should come and visit –
i can stay with her,
flights are expensive
but everything else is cheap
and she’ll have a flat by then
so it’ll be no trouble
if i want to sleep
on her floor for a while.




Oh boy, america.


oh boy
you really
make it hard
to want to live in you
the way
the news comes out now
over the sea
and yet
i do
i really do,
i want to live
in new york,
scabbed land
tamed from treelines to burning campfire skyscrapers,
i want to live in you
listening to people
talk like movies
like someone typed their dialogue in a cafe –
cats sitting on bread in bodegas when i buy cigarettes,
people in parks
having conversations about
anything –
i’ve been twice now
and everything
only deepened my lust to live
in you;
the crank
of the L,
the smoke coming out of dustbins,
but oh
boy america
the news is bad for moving,
the green card lottery
is all burning down,
the borders are closing,
the evening getting long,
is creeping over the mountains
and birds that sing,
bluebirds and jays and skyhawks
when dawn comes
like a thief
in the morning.





DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by Encircle Press. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.