They sit on the bridge
they sit on the bridge.
cluster as close
as the round bulbs of road-
dusty with travel. drinking beer
and port wine and they smoke and eat
sandwiches over the water
which moves slow as they do,
a rolling black gruel into estuary.
sometimes a woman passes, and they
will say something – I know it is
threatening, but there’s no malice
there (though you would have to live
nearby to know that) any more
than there is when you reach
into brambles and hurt yourself,
picking a berry. the night
sets around them – it lays
like a dog at a table. they take it
as company, put out their hands.
occasionally, under the bridge,
there’s a swan kicking forward
in peaceful grey stateliness
or the floating crushed wreck
of a beercan.
DS Maolalai’s poetry has been released in three collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016), “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019) and Noble Rot (Turas Press, 2022)