The elements

By: DS Maolalai

I ask for a coffee. the girl

makes me one; an espresso

with additional water, poured

in a paper cup. I like this new cafe

near camden street –

it reminds me that coffee

is mostly just hot bean

and water. the walls are just

plaster and paint and the counter

just plywood with paint on it.

the wall decorations cheap wire

and wood and the plants

are all plastic or succulents.

the americano is espresso

with kettle-boiled water

to water the strong flavour down.

somehow that's different;

better than the cannisters

you see used in most other

cafes. behind me a young man

on a laptop takes a call and a couple

are chatting and eating

brigadeiros. this place will be closed

down again in 6 months more or less.


DS Maolalai has been described by one editor as "a cosmopolitan poet" and another as "prolific, bordering on incontinent". His work has nominated twelve times for Best of the Net, eight for the Pushcart Prize and once for the Forward Prize, and 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)

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