"To Drink Dessert" by DS Maolalai

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To Drink Dessert

I'd asked her
to leave off cream
but it sat there
anyway —
and curled
like a bleached
and broken

my fault,
I suppose,
for ordering a mocha —
a silly drink
for children,
at liking the taste.

but the thing is
I do;
there are times,
in winter,
when dead, cold wind,
the trees sticking like sticks,
and you're walking
from a job,
and a paper cup
crushed in your gloves
with coffee,
hot and bitter
as blood
from the neck of a bull,
is all you need
to keep everything

all gray
and bleak as moonsurface,
gargoyle statues
and not as picturesque,
like walking
in a garden
with all the flowers gone,
like getting your fingers
caught in a machine,
the air
like water and liquid
like bricks,
it's marvelous,
good as cats climbing walls,
good as ivy
or burning conifers.

was not this,
of course. it was a warm day
on Sunday,
and I was killing time
in a coffee shop
waiting around
for someone. it was the weekend.
why shouldn't
I have a nice
chocolate coffee
to drink
when it's too early
for a pint?
pining for pleasure
like a child
begging sweets.
no wonder
the girl thought
I was looking
to drink dessert.

I sat down anyway
over by the window
and with a spoon
dumped most
of the cream
on my saucer.

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DS Maolalai

D.S 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, and he has a second collection forthcoming from Turas Press in 2019. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.

Headshot: Jack Baker

Photo Credit: Staff