and the girls I meet
keep getting dropped to the tiles
and bursting like raindrops on water
when I decide suddenly
that I'm not going to fall in love
after all,
and when pretty good fucking
is no longer enough.
and it seems the same thing
keeps happening
with all the people I know;
men and women,
picking someone to stay with
more and more
is like pulling a potato
straight from the pan
and bouncing it a little
before throwing it on the plate;
it's something you need
but you damn well won't keep it
in a place
where it can be
got to

like finishing a wineglass
and firing it out the window
or at the wall
next to someone's head
in the kitchen.
like ripping up a poem
so nobody else can read it
and then setting it on fire
and forgetting what it said.

and hell, I've done it right before now,
held hands in hospitals
and considered picking flowers -
I've cupped my hands for songbirds as carefully
as a full bowl of water and
dusted pianos
without hearing a note.
but love is like thrown apples
and I don't want to get bruised.

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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