We Take Turns
she cooks magnificently.
fried rice with eggs,
spices and sliced
chorizo. roasted broccolli
and hot pepper. delicious
butter chicken. sunsets.
I sit at the table and watch
as my food
is brought in red bowls. hot and ready
and built of skill. I'll wash;
I don't mind - not much of a cook
but I feel good
being useful. she brings wine as well,
we have chocolate.
we take turns; when it's mine
she chooses a place
for our take-out.
The Legs of Wasps
over the coast road
cranes turn slowly,
mechanical as the legs of wasps. once
one of them got in
through an open window;
in my wineglass.
I fished her out
and put her on the table, then got up
and grabbed another glass
to place on top. she lay
on her side, drenched
and sweating - I watched her legs
and the segments of her body.
like steel machinery; the way they paint it in stripes
construction. After a while
she woke up
and began walking in circles.
I up-ended the glass
and crushed her on the table.
and they say
the smell of dead wasps
attracts live ones. I finished my wine,
and closed the window.
A Weak Candle
taking the coast road from town
as one would pick up change
from a counter; casually, without
motivation. and the car moves steady,
and natural as a trotting dog. once
I took this route
to visit an old girlfriend.
this was college -
she lived in bayside
with some friends
and I'd take the occasional trip. now
it's just homeward, and she's in england
somewhere, and happy, and a long time
with someone else. to my right
the sky darkens
in contrast with the sun - amber firing
all over ireland, like a weak candle
flicking a dark room. I try the radio,
then turn it off, and lean back
and absorb the evening. I've just dropped off
my current girlfriend
in sandyford; something adulterous
in these sneaking
pasts. but the mind goes
where the mind goes;
all the time. you can't stop it,
any more than horses. and daylight goes down too,
casts the shadows of trees
DS Maolalai has been nominated three times for Best of the Web and twice 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).