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My Lover . . . Porphyria.
by Chris Ingham
With apologies to Robert Browning.

I stand still at the window. Intently.
Rain, antarctic, horizontal. Malign.
Deeply dark breakers continuously
Threaten to obliterate the shoreline.

I watch the lighthouse flash. A voyeur.
I too fail to penetrate the thick night.
I know where you are. I see you. A blur
In my mind, standing in the fuzzy light

Shoreward of the pier. Hands clenched, deeply
Thrust into pockets, clutching my letter.
Reading his, now faded, public poetry.
On butcher's paper. Summer ecstasy.

Pasted for all to see, he wrote of you,
Under streaming window glass. Far better
Than facing my pain. You will come again
To me, the threads still bind. For I know you!

I lean across the balcony rail, the rain
Needle sharp against my face. I renew
My vigil. Waiting. I can almost hear
Your step as you trudge uphill, the wind
Pushing you inexorably here
To me. I go inside, sit down and wind
The scarf you gave me tight around my arm,
Place my Browning open upon the chair
And dream, my Porphyria, of silken hair.

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