All that bubbles blackly beneath my skin

I purge onto the page

with my limited vocabulary

and spell-check-needed words,

filling it until

I am empty.


And sometimes that is enough

to quieten the tangible noise

inside of me, the light

and darkness which mix

so unpredictably within my being.


And sometimes it is not,

and my nights are empty

of sleep, of ease,

empty of peace.


Some of these staining words

risk their ego

under other eyes,

and find like-minded souls,

find praise and publication,

while some only find

polite no’s and indifferent replies,


and some of them do not leave

my home, sit instead

in drawers and folders,

my eventual intent being to burn them,

bin them, remove them it from the world;


an intent I avoid,

for, foolish as it may seem,

I fear if they no longer drown

on the page, they may find

my mind again,


and my mind is forever filling,

the soothing emptiness existing

for only the shortest of times,




Might true love be

seeing and recognising the soul

of your lifetime’s love

when their body is shed,

and you are left

with your grief,

knowing this shell

is but a shell,

no matter how familiar its form?


Might true love be

the soul of your love

hovering softly above,

allowing you one final glance

before ascending,

leaving you knowing

that there is no point

weeping over the lifeless form

you spent a lifetime touching,


though weep you do,

of course you do,

your fingers curled desperately around

their already cooling hand,

no matter what true love

whispers in your ear,

as the lips

of this now forever still body

once did?


Might true love be

knowing you will know each other again,

even if no such belief ever existed

within your being,

simply knowing and believing

that death is no ending

to a love so alive in its shining truth?



for PW


I will always remember your welcome

while others were barring

their doors, your daughter and I

finding a love

we should have not known,

our vows barely existing on the limps arms

of others – a scandal

some could not swallow

without their teeth on show.


But not you.

No, not you,

the happiness of your child

outweighing the voices of those

who had no views

worth giving/knowing.


And though, sadly, that relationship

has now run its course, my heart

seemingly no longer enough for your daughter’s,

giving the naysayers cause to smile once again,

and your life has reached its own natural end,

I will always be thankful to you,

and remember you, when I remember you,

as I do remember you so very often,

with a smile gentle on my sorrowed face.


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.
He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

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