DS Maolalai

Captivity

 
you go into
a petshop. it’s on Parnell
and they have the animals
hidden
behind the food. you go past bags of kibble,
toys and the sand
that cats shit in, looking for goldfish
and birds. they are not
expensive. you could buy them all
and set them free.
they stand in their cages
on the wooden perch – 10 euros each,
with wings
tucked.
outside
the world goes
like a piston. someone
on the corner
buys a chicken fillet roll,
3 euros
with a bottle of coke. they pause,
considering a twix.

Last Tuesday

 
nobody was answering emails
except for those
waiting for answers
only other people
could give. there were rooms
which needed stuff
moved out,
but the price had gone up
because now the work
had to be done
out of hours. and someone
was looking for numbers
on the feminine hygiene
waste products
used
in each branch
and at the company which collected
they were too busy dealing with it
to dig figures out. at lunch
I didn’t have change
for a sandwich
and had to settle for an apple
and a cup of free coffee
which tasted
very like wee. and my boss
was down from belfast – kept asking me
for things
I didn’t know. then he gave me
“5 mins work”
which I got done with
after two hours. the sky
spat red down
and at 3
my shit
blocked the toilet. I got a message
that the pay was wrong.
at 4:30
from the techs
I stood up and left
even though I was meant to be on
until 5.
sometimes
days are like that.

***

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)

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