TWO POEMS – DS Maolalai

Photo by Aurel Serban on Unsplash

They sit on the bridge

they sit on the bridge. they cluster
as close as the round bulbs
of road-swollen blackberries, 
dusty with travel. they drink beer 
and port wine and they smoke and eat
sandwiches over the water 
which moves slow as they do,
a rolling black gruel into estuary. 
sometimes a woman passes, and they
will say something – I know it is
threatening, but there’s no malice
there (though you would have to live 
nearby to know that) any more 
than there is when you reach 
into brambles and hurt yourself, 
picking a berry. the night 
sets around them – it lays
like a dog at a table. they take it 
as company, put out their hands. 
occasionally, under the bridge,
there’s a swan kicking forward
in peaceful grey stateliness 
or the floating crushed wreck 
of a beercan. 

The out ramp

o god my mind – 
just so much 
old oatmeal.
so much mulch,
such dead feathers,
such birdshit 
on eggshells. 

in the carpark
of my building
they are nesting
in the aircon. 

their faeces 
line the out ramp.
my brains.
my brains.
my brains.

DS Maolalai has been nominated nine times for Best of the Net and seven times for the Pushcart Prize. He has released two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019). His third collection, Noble Rot is scheduled for release in May 2022.

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