The rollercoaster. by DS Maolalai

The girls come
and they go away again
but before that
some of them come to bed with me. We hold eachother
and look at eachother
and kiss
and tell lies
that will make the night more romantic. A carnival seesaw
or a rollercoaster is a blessing, that feeling of hoax joy in danger
with the knowledge
that before long you'll
get off.

My mother invites me to dinner again
and introduces me to an Italian girl she met on an airplane
who didn't know either
that this was all along the plan. After I walk her partway home
because I'm going that way anyway
and then tell my mother
to stop trying so
to set me up. Bruna is beautiful
and well-read
but there is something about family friends
that would make her difficult to drop
when time becomes what it must come to.
I go home and lie in bed
thinking all night about Bruna. I've read every book in my apartment
and the radio
is only playing news about America, love music
and Christmas songs. O
the red paintings on walls
that make all kinds of people
so happy.

DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working for a medical supply company and his nights drinking wine. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. @diarmo1990