The changing room

by DS Maolalai


if I may defy
some tired stereotyping,
I don’t really mind
going shopping – in fact
I quite like it; taking
the opportunity
to browse.
but I like it better
by myself, that’s all –
mulling on things. trying them.
changing my mind
and coming back.
giving up
and going to a bookshop
for 30 mins. or to a bar,
or for coffee – any way
of killing your time – and with other people
that’s not really an option. instead,

sitting outside the changing room
in a woman’s vintage clothes shop
feeling very much
an object in the way.
something to trip over
and cause hassle
to people walking
with a purpose,

like a curious
small dog, sniffing in corners,
or a badly hidden
extension cord
jutting out from carpet tiles.


DS Maolalai has been nominated eight times for Best of the Net and five 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)


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