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The Letters, A Poetic Correspondence
by Chris Ingham and Janet Leister

Number one: Recognition.

My Dearest, I hope you do not think me
Forward, but I find an overwhelming
Need to write, if only to clear my head,
To understand the sympathy we felt
Last night as we danced and talked of poetry,
Both yours and mine, oblivious of time,
Of those to whom we should have been paying
Heed; those who have a claim on you, on me.
But know, at this moment, I cannot think
Of them, but only of you as you stood
So still in the doorway in your velvet
Blue, tight waisted, gown. The last westering
Of the late summer sun glistening
From the silver heart locket at your breast,
Distracted me from the throng; I saw you
As if for the first time. You dropped your head
Slightly towards your right shoulder and looked
Up at me, as if to say: "Why have you
Not seen me before as I truly am?"

I came to you, took your hand and we danced.
You talked softly, gently of my poetry
And I was drawn slowly into the web
Of my own words as if for the first time.
My mirror of complacency shattered.
Then he called to you; you smiled and were gone,
And I was left pondering the strangeness
Of my sudden recognition that we
Understand each other so very well.

I don't, in any way, wish to disturb
Your carefully constructed security,
Nor mine, but I must talk to you once more.
Please write, my dear, saying that we can meet,
For I have thought of little else but you
Since we parted last night. Your friend always . . .
Number two: The Web

Your words drew me inside the page
Each one plucking a taut string
that reverberated to my very core

I am dumbstruck at their power, as
you beckon to me across the oceans,
pulling me inescapably toward the source.

These virtual fingers stroke my neck
as you whisper softly, yet urgently,
your words caress my breast and I silently plead for more

Your presence exists only on the page,
yet, your breath warm and smelling faintly of cigarettes,
I feel your hand sliding along my leg

You discover the liquid satin center of my soul
as I fall into your web of words,
gasping, staring dumbfounded at the screen.

I succumb helplessly, unconscious, uncaring,
the poem wraps me ever tighter in your silken web.
I read on, awaiting your promise of rapture.







The Letters, Volume 2

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