DS Maolalai




a ragged shirt
and a
like a broken toast rack.
I am
a tall
well jawed,
but skinny,
not slim;
there’s a difference
and I think it’s a lot of
in the way you carry

I can be slim;
I walk down Camden St
or along the Liffey
or canals
and then
I feel good,
the right shirt
and the right pair
of trousers,
a sharp line.

like the ones I have today;
they’re too baggy
with the collar
tore up
so white cotton
shows through the blue,
like a rotten sun.

I am
a ragdoll
too big
to fit
and too leaden
to love. I
am a broken grass-stalk
or a crisp packet
tore and forgotten
in a jacket pocket.

I wish
I was built like a steamtruck,
like those guys
whose fat
hides muscle
but if I put on weight
it goes into my guts
instead of my shoulders.

break off in may
and their seeds
get ripe for the summer.

I am a tugboat
rotten by the pier,
all in the bilges,
nothing the mast.



DS Maolalai is a poet from Ireland who has been writing and publishing poetry for almost 10 years. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press, and he has a second collection forthcoming from Turas Press in 2019. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.

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