Caldas da Rainha by DM O’Connor

By DM O’Connor 

we walk past pears and apples and grapes and broccoli all fruiting in their five o’clock last day of summer fields although I know tomorrow it will rain and the money will be gone I can’t help but count the passing which are mostly work vans or tractors pulling trailers and she says no one walks around here at the edge of town past a cafe and a church we enter a scooter shop the man is wearing a mask and dismantling a two-stroke carburettor and we go around the shop asking prices and remembering Formentera and Munduk and asking directions to Parque Dom Carlos and the waterfalls and mud beaches keep bottomless scrolling past the hill by the ceramic museum makes us sweat and we pass the school we might apply to teach at wouldn’t that be lovely the houses are so cheap but we must keep moving for fear of growing comfortable or soft or roots and she asks what I want and I ask where she wants to go and we agree to not have expectations and end up in a Praça da República how many Republican squares are there in this world and order Most Wanted IPA and Javali Stout and the labels are art and cheese arrives not the soft cheap kind but the rich sharp hard stuff sprinkled with cashews and pomegranate seeds have you ever tried to open one of these slowly I ask and she says yes it’s not easy.



DM O’Connor is an Irish-Canadian currently living in Portugal. He has an MFA from University College Dublin & the University of New Mexico. He is a contributing reviewer for RHINO Poetry and fiction editor at Bending Genres. His work has appeared in Splonk, A New Ulster, Dodging the Rain, Cormorant, Crannog, Opossum, The New Quarterly, The Guardian, and the Irish Independent, among others. Find him on Twitter at @dmoconnorwrites or at his website .