Poetry: Selections from Edward Lee

Shadows Remain

Sometimes we didn't
have time to shower
before we had to return
to our spouses, our hours
limited by the depths of the lies
told to buy that time.
Those times, our skins unclean
and yet purer
than they’d ever been,
I felt less guilty, the
smell of you
on my body
easing my conscience
when my wife asked me
how my day had been
and I lied as easily as though
my tongue had been born
to tell anything but truth.
What cruel people
we were in our love
for each other. What
cruel people we had to be
to save our love
for each other.
We wish our others well
now that we are gone
from their lives, our cruel selves
no more, now that
no false words are needed
to disguise our truth, though
their shadows remain
as such shadows always do,
like dirt on the skin
that an ocean of showers
can never remove.


I lip-read our future
across your nipples,
my tongue moistening
those words that catch
in your shuddering mouth
as you guide me lower,


Your fingers find home
as they meet
across the back
of my freshly shaved head,
guiding my tongue deeper,
stretching your soft voice louder,
capturing my name
in the nonsensical speech patterns
of passion, the star-skyed night
still young, the serious morning
still hours away.


The quickest way to a man's heart
is through his chest, breaking bone
and scattering veins and flesh,
causing a pain I have never felt
but can imagine in breath-catching detail,
especially when I am in the mood
I am in now.
Everything else – pretty words
danced across air and pages -
is just strained metaphor
boiled dry in cliched similes,
and I have no stomach
for such things, the mood
I am in.

Once We Both Know Pleasure 

Your cunt spreading
around my dick,
coming home
to come, one
after the other,
or together,
it doesn't matter.
All that does
is having these moments
when we can be
the base beings
we are – purity under
another name – reveling
in the wanting
of each other,
words, panted or otherwise,
no longer needed, both of us
coming, one after the other,
or together, it doesn’t matter,
it doesn’t matter
once both our bodies know
the pleasure.

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, A Thin Slice Of Anxiety, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales.  His play ‘Wall’ was part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020. His debut poetry collection Playing Poohsticks On Ha'Penny Bridge was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection and also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.


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