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This poem is taken from PN Review 77, Volume 17 Number 3, January - February 1991.

Two Poems and Three Jokes Thom Gunn


We looked for two recoveries, as if one
Might take place independent of the other.
Here was a knot that would not come undone,
For all the strings in it had pulled together,
Tight from the lover's death, tight from the drug
That seemed to ease the loss by such distortion
As to convert the pain of every tug
To flashes lighting scenes of disproportion.
In his socks hurrying up the rainy street
To Tank Hill, where they ran, their old direction,
He could be barely checked, so sure he'd meet
The lost one up there, Jim's astral projection.

Then eighteen months had passed and he had gone
To France - no smuggler, planning this vacation
Without the powder much depended on

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