Herbs and Flowers



gone, and she’s left me

a soap bar like an angry note,

and in the bathroom

the extractor fan

has hair. melting

from humidity, I take it in my fingers

and feel the waxy surface,

like a bar of chocolate

in your pocket on a hot day.



I inhale, taste air like mineral

wine, smelling herbs

and flowers, raspberries

and the redness

of rendered fat. naked,

I turn to avoid the heat, and rub it

on my body, all around

the belly,

over the balls and up

and onto the shoulders. bubbles

rise and slide

like mushrooms on an august

hillside. the plug

is jammed

with dropped out bits

of people. this

is beauty in the morning – feeling hot water

and remembering chrysty

while I rinse

and do my pits,

then dry

with her towel too.



I pull on underpants,

select a shirt

and trousers.

I sniff my forearm.

hey there – look – it’s you.





DS Maolalai has been nominated nine times for Best of the Net and seven times for the Pushcart Prize. He has released two collections,Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019). His third collection, Noble Rot,is scheduled for release in April 2022.