oh hell
supermarket light.

for showing
the 75
off tomatoes
or the pink skin
on sausage meat -

less perfect
for showing your own skin
with blunt shaves
and alcohol,
lack of sleep
and the wrinkle-cast reliefs
along your hands.

rivers run deep under buildings.
carts pulled behind you
like an old lady on the road
or a bull
saddled with plough.

you pick up heavy green cheese
and salami
with with your fingers.
cold milk - no more than a litre
before its stale. you pick up oranges
fresh as mexico
and courgettes
and old apple pie,
a steal
at half the price.

outside the streetlights catch smoke
like frozen fog. they hold it for a minute -
long enough to see a face
in the changing shapes
by the bus stop -
then its gone
and the white road
stretches out
ahead of you.


DS Maolalai
DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.