"A Moment of My Time"

For a man with yellow teeth

he had surprisingly sweet breath,

and a smile that whispered

friendship, trust,

but his hand on my back

was cold and wet,

I felt it through

my off-the-rail suit,

and his eyes were dead,

deep into the early stages of decay,


and he abbreviated my name,

which I've never liked,

my dislike of this familiarity

so sudden and extreme,

I did not think to wonder

how he knew it

in the first place,


so I smiled and thanked him,

said no thanks,

the soul I didn't believe in

was staying where it was,

wherever it was,

and I continued walking,

my steps stumbling

as I tried to remember

where I had been walking to

when this yellow-toothed man

had blocked my path,

doomsday and damnation

folded delicately

in his cold, wet hand.



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 is currently working on a novel.

Edward Lee