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  • Writer's pictureBurnt Breakfast

Enter or Egress | By Edward Lee

I wake in a room full of doors, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, nothing but doors, and no handle on a single one of them.

This isn't the room I fell asleep in, that room had only one door, two windows, a desk against one wall where I spend all the hours I own pigeon-tapping on an old typewriter all the things I wished would happen to me, words I would speak, decisions I would make, lives I might live if I were only given the chance.

Waking in a room made of doors was not anything I had pressed faded keys for, not a potential future I had shaped out of nothing but wishes; at that thought, at the very arrival of that thought, before it has even finished, I realise that all the doors, though they have no handles, have keyholes just below the space where a handle would be.

But I have no key. I know this without having to search my pockets; I have not needed a key in years, my two windowed room my world, the other world outside not one I have ventured into since I began my shaping of my future from nothing but wishes.

No, I have no key.

There comes a knock at one of the doors, gentle, almost silent; what door it is I do not know. I feel it more than I hear it, a vibration begun at one door and passing through every other door, finding its way to the soles of my bare feet.

It comes again, the knock, but I still do not know from what door it comes.

I still do not know when the third knock comes, louder, persistent, endless.


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, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales. He is currently working on a novel.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at

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