thinking about riverboats

yesterday
at this party
someone said
something funny
and someone else
laughed.

smoking,
someone told me
what she’d decided,
that she knew
what went wrong
in my last two relationships
and told me how
she thinks
this one
will be better for me now.

it was something
about how we both knew
how to drink too much
without ever seeming
to get pissed.
something
about how our energies
complement our livers.

I wasn’t listening –
I was drunk.
I was looking at the walls
of the garden,
blue walls,
and thinking about
blue oceans,
and boats
crowding out a sea.

I was thinking
about riverboats,
about smoking a cigarette
and feeling the cool air
over the hills on either side
as it came down
and took me
and wrapped me away.

it was nice.
the river
underneath
throwing sparkles
like salt on a black table.
the otters
hiding
against the bank.

then someone put out a punch
as always happens –
someone had commented on a girl
someone else had brought along
or something, who cares, it always happens –
and I was back again
at the party,
watching blood on the carpet
blossom.
and holding my glass
like a bad dancer
at a wedding,
wondering if I’ll ever
get a chance to just relax,
sit on a riverboat
with a drink
without having
to listen to people.


DS Maolalai

DS Maolalai is a poet from Ireland who has been writing and publishing poetry for almost 10 years. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.

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