Your 'kiss' in the book

She marked the page with a dab
of red lipstick off her finger.
“I’ll come back to that later.”
I heard her say.

When I bought the book
in that little second-hand shop
at the foot of Dyke Road.
I didn’t spot the fading
kissy fingerprint. No,
I missed it - was more engrossed
with wading through ‘Lallji My Desire’ -
the purpose of my purchase.

But just like a message
written when gifting a book,
or added in a cryptic margin -
once found never to be forgotten.

I wondered who she was…
even when she was, and where?
There was no clue, but her endeavour
may have made her finish reading
‘The Teak Forest’ and been inspired
by the very luscious line
‘your words were flame and your kisses fire’,
so, her lipstick ‘kiss’ makes me inquire
Was she perhaps a sapphic lover of Dear Adela?

© Griffonner 2022

  • ‘The Teak Forest’ and ‘Lallji My Desire’ were poems written by Laurence Hope (pseudonym of Adela Florence Cory Nicolson 1865 - 10904) who tragically committing suicide by ingesting perchloride of mercury.
3 Points