Barbeque float

after another week of record-
breaking weather, the pavements
are finally slaking, the flower pots
wet. in the courtyard, the air stinks
of leaves and tobacco ash,
rich as the dregs
in an office canteen
empty coffeepress,
saturday morning.

cobble drinks moisture. reflects every light
source like the slick skins of snails
moving slowly. everyone breathes
and will sleep soon with unbothered
sinuses. barbecues float
the unburnt end of yesterday’s
charcoal. hands on all patios
reach to a sky jammed
impossibly thickly

with these stormclouds,
all crowded as books
on a bookshelf which close
over each other’s covers
and bend into dogear and flay

as they do in the best
kinds of second hand bookstore
where you’ll spend half an afternoon browsing.

DS Maolalai

DS Maolalai has been described by one editor as "a cosmopolitan poet" and another as "prolific, bordering on incontinent". His work has nominated eleven times for Best of the Net, eight for the Pushcart Prize and once for the Forward Prize, and has been released in three collections; "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016), "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019) and “Noble Rot” (Turas Press, 2022