Microwaved meals in little rooms somewhere by D.S. Maolalai

(published 31st December 2018)

I like to travel
but I don’t like
holidays.
what I like
is living in places,
and turning them
over
into home,
going somewhere
and getting to know it,
the way they say the locals
do.


when you get down
and accept it,
fresh vegetables
and fruit
are good
but they’re nothing
next to those plastic-wrapped
meals
you buy
and just microwave.
it’s the salt
and all the additives;
they give things real
bite.
I touch into London,
into New York,
Toronto,
and live there
unemployed
and eating microwaved meals
in little rooms,
stretched out
on Saturdays
with the sun
rubbing the city
like a cat
on a table leg.
I drink beer in the afternoon
and eat peanuts,
read in bed
and am asleep by ten.
it’s like being on holiday.
I try out bookshops,
try out bars,
meet girls
and have nothing to do
but spend time with them.
of course
later on
my money runs out
so I get a job
and can afford
carrots
and spinach
and potatoes.
somehow
it never feels
as good
again
anywhere
living
after that.

 

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Diarmuid o Maolalai

D.S. Maolalaí recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working dispatch for a medical supply company and his nights drinking wine. 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.

Twitter: @diarmo1990