THE LUNCHTIME PAINTER

by DS Maolalai

I think of you

moving, sunlight cutting

your dark kitchen,

which smells

of earth and rich harvests—grain

running the table

and tumbling over tupperware, yogurt

and rich black creamy coffee—carefully

putting together

a frozen salad

with lettuce and green leaves

fresh

as biting a river. you are precise

in your placement—rocket,

lettuce

and spinach

settled delicately

on the edge

with red onions

in small enough quantities

to add flavour

without running the room. no tomatoes,

of course,

but a couple of strawberries

for colour

and to add

a little sweetness. a handful

of seeds

tossed casually

and pinned with vinaigrette. you are

a painter. you paint

salad, and salad

is not a shine, nor only

flavour;

it is that

with pure cold

and it hits green

placed artfully

and sounding

like a wet

meadow.

ABOUT DS

DS Maolalai has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice 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).