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"I'm sorry. Well," he said after a minute, "if we just wouldn't look or act or even talk like broken-down Hemingway characters. That's what I'm afraid of," he said.

She laughed. "Jesus, if that's all you're afraid of," she said.

From “The Augustine Notebooks” by Ray Carver

but the moon looks tonight
like someone's sliced a white sliver
for something to spread on their toast.
I'm driving out
to meet a girlfriend
somewhere north of Bayside
near Howth
and listening to Roy Orbison on the radio
I Drove All Night
because alone
at night
I can choose whatever music
I want to
and also
I don't have much
of an imagination.

the water on the sea
is yellow
as flowers
in the pounded out cityshine
and speckled
against silhouettes
of palm trees
that shouldn't grow here.

my hands on the wheel
keep flashing white in lamplight,
then disappearing again
under the shadow of the car ceiling.
someone would love to see this -
someone a few years ahead of me
who likes images
more than the things they represent,
and likes how people play their emotions
more than the things they actually feel,
tangling them in words
like red balls of yarn
and driving
toward the people
they'll show them to.

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.