By Edward Lee


The trees outside my window
are weeping leaves,
not in sympathy
to the pain in my heart
at your sharp sudden absence,
but simply because
autumn has fallen.


Every time,
without fail,
before they make love,
she picks fluff from his navel;
there is always fluff there,
even straight after a shower.

It is their ritual,
her finger in his navel,
before lips lock,
hands roam,
and he enters her.

They barely speak of it,
it is just the done thing,
a cleansing of the body
before the emptying
of desire.

But, last night,
and two nights before,
with her lips tight against his,
her fingers remained her own,
even as he entered her;

they fluttered above her head,
far from any part of him,
dancing almost,
or signing thoughts
of her distraction
as she waits impatiently
to explore the navel
of some new other,

someone now worthy
of her thorough cleansing.


The endless darkness
of the cow’s eye
saddens me
as we slowly drive through
the herd, while
potholes and bumps
shake my stomach
to the edge of sickness.

Through the window
I can hear the cows
moo, moan,
as they continue on
to wherever the farmer
is taking them,
abattoir or milking plant,
and we, free of the herd,
speed on to where we are going,
a place I can’t remember,
my mind lost to the eye
of the cow,
the abyss of its soul
sucking all I knew
down into itself,
my sense of self,
my identity
not even a whisper
in my mind;

even as the car stops,
my father announcing,
“We’re here”,
before he and my mother
get out of the car
and enter wherever here is,
my sickly stomach
is the only prove
I have
that not all of me
disappeared into deadened bovine eyes,
while moo-ed moans
echo faintly
in the cold morning air.


In my garden
I speak to the night,
throw my voice
into the moonless dark,
not looking for,
or expecting a reply,
simply wishing to add
something of myself
to the endless darkness,
my words turning
to winter, clouding
in the air,

and disappearing, disappearing,
the night taking it all
as its own,

and I turn
and reenter my home,
my skin prickling
as it moves from cold
to warm.


Heartbeat born
of my heartbeat, but
I will always be
a stranger to you,
another man your father,
your mother my lover
when she shouldn’t have been,

and yet
should have;
heart plus heart equaling
the possibility of forever.

Should I speak,
raise my voice
for your ear,
and in doing so
rearrange your life,
when maybe your life now
needs no rearranging,
a change in its course
nothing but cruel interference?

I have no answer
that doesn’t spark further questions,
and maybe
that is an answer
in itself,
an answer for now,


About the Author:

Edward Lee‘s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

His blog can be found at and his Facebook page can be found at