DS Maolalai

Sleeping on the fold-out

oh it can be said
to be a rotten basket
of plums. my girl
and I sleep sometimes
in opposite bedrooms.
yes, when we fight,
as the reader might
predict, but not only

when we fight, nor even
mostly. look, things happen
sometimes – for example,
you get warm. sometimes
it’s nice to take a pillow
and walk stumbling
through a hallway, like a man
patting his pockets
for a wallet or his phone.

sleeping on the fold-out.
the light, cool air
coming down from the jammed
open vent-shaft. the sound
made by the neighbours
talking softly. their dog
snuffling around.


Snake guy

his chest was tanned leather,
dyed blue in a sheet
of tattoo. he was barred
from each bar on the main
street in Kensington, mainly
for harassing waitresses.
used to hang in this park
behind my place
and let out his pet snakes
and his lizards to wander the grass.

it’s funny – everywhere I’ve been
there’s a snake guy –
and he was stocky,
well-muscled (they’re always
well-muscled, or else built
with a fat which hides
muscled brutality, like a bus
on the wrong side
of the road) and whenever I saw him
he was talking to women
who’d come over to look
at his snakes. funny,

I guess; they crop up
in cold climates – in Toronto
and London and Dublin and Paris
and probably everywhere