Two Poems by D.S. Maolalai

My natural charm

here it is and all:
it’s Friday
and a girl in a shop smiled at me today
but for some reason
that charm
won’t chase the feeling
of something more. I’m back
in Dublin again, no more
of Canada, no more smoking outside bars
until I get an “Irish, you’re Irish?
oh my god, I was there once, I
LOVE the Irish”. now
I’ll have to rely on
my natural charm
god only help me—

there should be a law
that says
you can’t lose the feeling
of having an accent
after you go home. if that girl in the shop
who was Irish
spent any time with me
she would soon
get bored
I feel—I sleep too much,
watch too much tv,
drink in the evenings until
my cheeks are more blushed than the sky,
and earlier,
I look at people too long, enjoy silence too much
and self-pity
too often. there should be a law
that says people can’t be disappointed
in coming home. the best thing I can imagine
is her going to bed with me once
opening like a book
to someone’s favourite page
and then going away
and not calling me. my imagination doesn’t stretch
any longer
to long dates in the park, to conversations about work,
to children,
or anything anymore. I became a child again
when I came home. people do.

she still sold me the wine though. a youth
can laugh. and she would walk home
feeling foolish about things
thinking about me
being clumsy in bed
and about better men
who know to do more
than whisper in her ear
in an Irish accent.

St Patrick’s Day weekend

my hope

is that something new will come:
some ring,
some whirl,
some whipping fire. my hope

is that spirit
will spit into life,
that music will whistle

and pleasant will land,
that actors will drown in butts
or die onstage. and we will drink wine,

if 2 of us,
or beer
if 3 of us,
or anything
if more come
rapping the windows. my hope

is that thousands will come,
and thousands will,
stumbling over bridges,
bathed in colour,
smiling with drunk and happy fire.
but of those thousands
how many
will be worth a second to talk to,
a second to say something
maybe worth talking about.

my hope is that it’s one or two of them,
or maybe 3,
like donkeys
through roaring crowds,
frothing with beer,
damn silly
in silly
green hats.



D.S. MAOLALAI has been nominated 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).


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