'Like Dublin': A Poem by DS Maolalai


under the boiling pot

dropped leaves

smolder; the top of a litterbin

filled with cigarettes

and reducing to soup

on a dry afternoon. summer,

full of that smoky air

and missing fire. those little pops and cracks

like walking barefoot

and stepping on crisp packets. like dublin;

walking up o'connell street

while the sun shines

and everyone dresses

comfortably. men in shorts, t-shirts

and football jerseys

sliding over chests and bellies

as if loose water

were tumbling on rocks.

women too;

those airy dresses,

showing more of their legs

than the men even. sunglasses all over,

black as burned vegetables. earth slipping, filling with scent

and a hot meat market. in the pot at home,

outside of the city,

vegetables boil among fistfuls of ham. the air is humid,

the windows shut, full of steam

and the smell of toasting broccoli.

at the kitchen table

I open my shirt down as far as the belly,

lean back, and remember walking



DS 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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