Three Street Poems

By D.S. Maolalai 

These streets, these dusty windows

these streets, these dusty
windows, like dirty
work boots
on a man
taking his lunch
next to a building
for eventual

leaning his back
on the white
plastic signage. eating a sandwich,
smoking a rolled

Black shoes

they’d complained
he’d been taking
too much unplanned
holiday, but what could he do
with occasional deaths?
ask that his family
take breaks from their cancers
until he’d saved
up some extra
days off? he sent his apologies
and I gave the nod — sometimes
the plumbing
just takes a back seat. and
it turned out the funeral
was quite near our office —
I passed him at lunchbreak
looking odd in his shoes
and black suit.

Loose these bolts

6am. he is dangling
like a hair on the lip
of the lorry. he is
outside waitrose
working loose these bolts
which open the back
of the refrigerator.
along the road
sunlight creeps, crawling
with centipede
his hands are in
no hurry. they do it
alright; like a professional
playing piano,
knowing by instinct
the song.
the bolt opens, finally;
he jumps
and begins unloading.
in fields nearby
the light lands on dandelions
and pushes a light breeze
ahead of it. there is a ripple
somewhere. a soft crack
and a dropping
of seeds.

D. S. Maolalai’s work has been nominated seven times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has appeared in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019), and in numerous journals including The Eunoia Review, Kerouac’s Dog, More Said Than Done, Star Tips, Myths Magazine, Ariadne’s Thread, The Belleville Park Pages, and Killing the Angel. He is a graduate of Trinity College in Dublin in English Literature.

Photos by by Nick de Partee and Virvoreanu Laurentiu