The dolphin

we were down
in kerry. it was
a pretty good
weekend. I'd been
tricked into driving. there were just
the two of us insured
and one of us was german
so he was a tourist
and needed
to see the country
in a way that I didn't.
we pulled in
to a beach
not known much
except by the locals
and opening the door
we got this strong smell
of rotten fish. a dolphin had died,
I guess on the beach, and someone
had pulled it up
to decompose
next to the carpark. you could walk over
and see
clear as pencil
a hole in its side and the teeth
where its lips had been pulled away. but who knows
if that was what happened
or just some seagull
spotting a shot at organs.
we stood around for a while
and aodhain said he'd come back when it was rotted
a little better
to take its jaw. not now though.
no-one felt
like digging through something's skin
to get at its bones.
we just went down to the beach.
I was the only one
who wasn't a geologist
and I remember
standing on my own
in the middle of the beach
and hearing the roar
of the sea
as it bore into the cliff rock.

DS Maolalai is a writer and poet from Ireland. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 with Encircle Publications, with his second forthcoming from Turas Press in 2019. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.