an outskirt of limerick.

by D.S. Maolalai

the others have gone
to the bathroom.
I’ve been driving;
am outside,
refilling the car.
a bright day,
no weather, clear sky
over dry garage

forecourt. the sun
rolls about
like a cat on the concrete,
painting the scenery
white. this
is a blank-
canvas outskirt
of limerick.
a feeder road,
10 minutes
drive from the motorway.
a last dog-
eared page
in the story
of our journey,
nearing the end
of its book.

the metal smell
and taste of diesel
fills the air,
gets at my teeth,
making me salivate.

chrysty comes out
with a swagger
and carrying
candy – aodhain
and julie-ann
each have a bottle
of wine. the tank
fills – the nozzle
clicks under
my fingers. it feels
like a point
of punctuation.

D.S. Maolalai has been nominated eight 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).