“Still in the City” by DS Maolalai

on hills by park pathways
and beds of fresh petal,
we collapse on our elbows
and tightly scrubbed grass.
twist off our
backpacks, wet


with the weight
of the sun and the weight
of our warm cans
of lager. pass around
water, look over
the hillside, and down
at the bottom
where the river goes thick.


rowboats roll over,
skating like beetles. men
pull their oars – we watch
them a while. we are still
in the city; something though
here is quite peaceful.
someone breaks open
a can from their rucksack.


that is the signal
we’re waiting for – the end
of our journey. the rest
of us do it as well.


DS Maolalai has been nominated nine times for Best of the Net and five times 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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