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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)


Trigger Warning

and your fingers
twist my buttonholes
as you do up my shirt

and this is
and better
in most ways than
the hottest
of any
I trust you
to get my shirt
just right – I trust
your hands
to put on moisturizer
and something coloured
you tell me
will hide the marks
on my face.

I lean in to kiss you
and you tell me
not to kiss you
the grease has dried.
but the sun
through the window
and the coffee
both feel like kisses anyway,
hot and dry,
crisp and bitter.
I lean
away from your face
and do my fly up
one handed.

when we get out of your flat
the air is not as dry
or baking warm
but cool
absent the concentrate of windows.
I don’t care.
your hand touches
my hand.
it feels like a kiss

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