DS Maolalai: Two Poems

The box

it fills like a box
and once
I thought I wanted
a box like nobody
else had – an apartment
on my own – a place
to live comfortably,
to drink wine and read books
and to write out my poems
while dishes filled sinks
and made stacks on the table.
now, getting married
and I’m somewhat
looking forward to it. and we
live together. and we
share a dog. a life
then, I suppose,
as much dull
as another – dinner,
a glass of wine.
a movie and going
to bed. I imagined that this life
would lead to less
it hasn’t; a box
stays its size
whatever’s in it.


A barnacle

you get under next to me;
the mattress goes down
like a boat. bobs about
sideways and bangs
on the pier. I turn
to your hand, which is cold
as wet seaweed; a barnacle, living
to cling. on the sail
of our curtains, the moon
fights off streetlights
for the pleasure of pushing
us forward. your body some flotsam,
moving and seeking.
my body a tideline,
given shape by what lands
on its beach.

DS Maolalai has been nominated eight times for Best of the Net and five 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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