D.S. Maolalai

the light, marine whiskery,
spindles on rainspotted
glasses. the canal
is a stagnant black line
in the greenery: water with distance
and birds in it. my parents' dog smells
about reeds and investigates
thoroughly, like a hand in a jacket
when your wallet's at home.

we're so far from home, and it's pissing;
she's bone-wet, my coat's
growing mushrooms, my hair looks
like shit. there should be more pubs
on the royal canal west
out of dublin and up from glasnevin.
though it isn't a problem
I suppose anymore – they killed her last week

at the vet. stomach cancer – the same thing
as got the last dog. it happens to beagles
and mongrels when they get to that age
and live with my parents.
she was about twice the size
I remember her, there toward the end,

and could barely stand up. I remember her
sticking her head in a cluster of reeds.
her panic as a swan's neck
rose up like a firehose, spitting
and threatening, running and lost from a grip.

About the Author

D.S. Maolalai has been described by one editor as "a cosmopolitan poet" and another as "prolific, bordering on incontinent." His work has been nominated eleven times for Best of the Net, eight for the Pushcart Prize, 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).

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