"Orangeskin" by DS Maolali

peeling like clothing,

revealing the shoulders 

and that line 

between armpit and arm 

and the side of the torso,

the ribrippled skin and the shadow of a breast.


I watch you from the bed

like an invalid with a nurse,

except that you will 

come in,

you will walk,


exactly as expected

you will smile

and climb into bed beside me.


I skin an orange in the morning 

and watch you getting dressed, 

looking for clothes and bending over,

sweet flesh revealing

as swaddle falls away. the colour

is bright as it disappears

and ruddy with flavour,

revealing other colours,

sweetness and style,


and thirstings of juice.

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)