Three Poems

Lee Nash


She hands me a wine glass
big enough to drown in.

I pick out notes of yellow –
fragile winter roses,
candles scored like aged pointed fingers –

decline lychees
with slimy esophagus-sized stones.

We make a wasted centerpiece
of the bird,
mix olives & Christmas spice;
brandy vapors ignite –
lap like dogs’ tongues.

He’s seated opposite –
fire and ice – sugar icing cracks,
cherry liqueur drips from
the back of his hand.

The conversation turns to limestone soil:
some years ago
they planted male & female kiwi vines –

mine without a house to climb.

Madonna of Paremoremo

In prison I thumb
The Agony and the Ecstasy.
At the hour of rite,
I turn Michelangelo face-down,
offer Maori woman and child
coffee without violence,
biscuit without ice terror;
we do not discuss their crimes.

For one hour a week,
the ordinary and the unthinkable,
unchiseled skin and ta moko.

They do not know or care of Florence –
who are the Medicis, anyway? –
yet it breaks my heart when he leaves,
her babe in his arms,
and tears cloud her marble eyes –
highly grained, low grade.

Air on a Sterile Environment
(Reflections post-colonoscopy)

gagging on vile soapy premeds –
couldn’t drink three liters

silent, grim-faced orderly
wheeling me up from the ward like a slab of meat

fainting from apprehension –
a quick-thinking nurse

soothing classical music in the operating theater –
bread after three days of rice

drained the next day –
taken out to look at roses

this procedure every five years
(the same for all four children)

the letter that told me
he had a year to live

the way he swore when he opened the fridge
and saw that someone had eaten the ham


Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editorial designer for a UK publisher. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online journals in the UK, the US and France including Angle, Black Poppy Review, Brittle Star, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Dawntreader, The French Literary Review, The Interpreter’s House, The Journal (UK), The Lake and The World Haiku Review. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website:

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