DS Maolalai: “A Perfume”



A perfume.

winter crowds
through windows
in the ellis
quay apartments.
the stairwell, thick
with a perfume
of spice and frying
steaks. someone
on the landing
has opened
their apartment,
clearing the kitchen
while they cook. steam
comes out, rushing
like a person
late for a train,
their wallet
in their mouth,
keys frantic,
fiddling their folded
up jacketsleeves.
it rolls along
the windows
which run on down
the stairwell,
makes mushroom
shapes which flatten
on the glass and frame
of winter. rises
on my footsteps,
like I left
something behind.
I turn, stepping brightly
along another flight,
quite delighted
and searching
my pockets for keys,
tasting the savoury


About the Author: DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three 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)


Image Credit: INTERIOR VIEW, THIRD FLOOR, NORTH ROOM, NORTHWEST WALL, VIEW THROUGH DORMER WINDOW – Gambrill House, Urbana Park, Frederick, Frederick County, MD, The Library of Congress (public domain)

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