Poetry: The love that I have left

The love that I have left

she is sitting on the bed

with her ankle pressed against a knee.

she is clipping

dead skin from the back of sole

of her foot, like loose threads

from the spine of a hardback.

I come in, drying off from the bathroom,

and find her staring

disgusted in fascination at a slice the size a pancake and so thick it blocks the light.

she asks, holding it up, if it bothers me. I hang up the towel and tell her no - I love her

always, even if she clips her feet.

that skin which flakes away just concentrates the rest of her, compresses

the love that I have left.

she likes that and comes over to me - kisses my clean neck and reaches down, pulling me toward the bed. when we're done she's dozing and I look for the dropped skin flake.

I've been needing a new bookmark

and something that size will do.

DS Maolalai is a poet from Ireland who has been writing and publishing poetry for almost 10 years. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press, with "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" forthcoming from Turas Press in 2019. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His Twitter is @diarmo1990