After Thom Gunn

When we wake in the night
with the sheets tangled round
our legs, we switch the light
on/off without a sound,
just checking to make sure
who lies beside us here.

Love grows by exploring
the boundaries of trust:
so we practise letting
each other go, to lust
after other people,
courting cautious trouble.

Yet we still find ourselves
returning to this bed,
this table, these bookshelves,
to words best left unsaid.
Two people can pretend
they want a happy end.

In time to come, we may
look back at these moments
and wish we could unsay
our heartfelt sentiments,
when love is not enough
to hold loneliness off.

This is a reprint of work originally published in The Cadaverine.

Ian Chung

This entry was posted in Poetry, Reprint and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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