you write a poem.
it’s a poem
about your girlfriend.
it’s quiet, it’s nice,
and you don’t think
you mention anything too specific –
just quietly sub it out
to a few magazines.
one of them comes back
a month later
and tells you they’ll take it, it’ll be
in the summer edition. and of course
by then things have turned around,
and don’t they always? – a fight about movies
or just some thought that came in
of all the other girls out there
who are pretty
and look good in the sun. suddenly
the title you gave it,
with love in there,
struts like a liar
and what’s worse
you get drunk one night and mention it to her
that she’s going to be in a poem
in some new review.
now you have lies in the summer edition
with your name next to them
and an ex-girlfriend
who feels a bit weird
about the whole thing. what
are you going to do?
keep writing, of course – another poem
about how telling your ex-girlfriend
was a dumb thing to do
and how she probably
feels strange about it.
that one isn’t as good, but you still submit it.
maybe if someone takes it
you can tell her
to read it
so she’ll know
that she feels strange.
Poet DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. 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.
Photographer Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.
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