September 21-27, 2020: Poetry from DS Maolalai and Sue Fagalde Lick

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DS Maolalai

DS Maolalai has been nominated seven 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)

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by DS Maolalai and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Driving to New York.

stretching over roads
like rubber bands
past breaking –
and we were 16 hours
on a straight rush
to New York, running
from Toronto. shifting
in our seats and arguing
over radio, piss-breaks
and the value
of stopping off in Boston
for a night.

I won
and we kept going.
5 hours later
we’d gone inches on the map
and I began to regret
my somewhat pigheaded insistence,
though afterward,
skipping the tunnel
and going through
the north of the city? that
is my idea, too,
and I stand by it.

people in the street
drinking beer
and listening to music.
out the window
with real lives. tourism
all safe
and we don’t get
to go back
the whole weekend.

it was strange too,
turning the corner –
you could barely
snap your fingers
between the Bronx
and mid-town
but suddenly
everything was duller

with flowers
coming out of windows
and plenty of well-
behaved dogs.

Sue Fagalde Lick

Sue Fagalde Lick, A writer/musician/dog mom, has recently published two chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Poems by a Distracted Catholic. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Willawaw, Cloudbank, New Letters, The American Journal of Poetry, and other publications. When not writing, she leads an alternate life as a Catholic music minister.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Sue Fagalde Lick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Finders Keepers in the Time of COVID-19

Is that money? I ask my big yellow dog
as we enter the open area off the gravel road
where fishermen dump bones and cut-off fins.
She’s busy crunching cartilage while I
grab as many bones as I can, tossing them
into the Scotch broom and salal lest she choke.

Without thinking, I snatch up
two greenbacks folded together,
fallen from somebody’s pocket.
Score! I stuff them into my jeans.
I mean, you find a penny or a dollar bill,
you take it as a gift. It’s yours.

Then I remember the blasted plague:
People breathing through tubes, dying alone,
all of us wearing masks, staying apart,
friends who won’t touch their mail,
who wash the bottoms of their shoes.
What have I gotten on my hand?

Should I put the money back? Too late.
I rub my hand in the weeds. Too dry
to wash the invisible plague away.
Poisoned fingers hanging at my side,
I urge the puzzled dog toward home
where I wash and wash and wash my hands.

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