DS Maolalai – Poem – 6

Someone you know somewhat well
DS Maolalai

somewhere, out shopping
sometime around christmas – 
seeing an old girlfriend
and talking a little of things. you heard
someone told you
she’s getting married next year.
and yes, the book
is doing well. 
and you don’t like it. don’t
want to be doing this. you feel disloyal,
even though you’re just talking. want
to be walking around the city
and watching people pass – but how 
do you end 
any conversation
with someone you know 
somewhat well? this
is a charity shop – you have been scanning
books on sale. and she’s
a little awkward, and you
are more awkward 
than she is. the last time that you spoke
was six months ago, and you were drunk 
as a christmas 
day. blurted 
out of nowhere
that you were seeing someone. this time
it’s better; a mumble
about having to go
and then going – out
and into cold air
with your jacket buttoned. later
you see someone else
while you’re opening a bottle 
of water. this time 
is better again – she is 
on the other side
of the road.


DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times 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)