The Hug

Thom Gunn

 
It was your birthday, we had drunk and dined
    Half of the night with our old friend
        Who'd showed us in the end
    To a bed I reached in one drunk stride.
        Already I lay snug,
And drowsy with the wine dozed on one side.
I dozed, I slept. My sleep broke on a hug,
        Suddenly, from behind,
In which the full lengths of our bodies pressed:
        Your instep to my heel,
    My shoulder-blades against your chest.
    It was not sex, but I could feel
    The whole strength of your body set,
           Or braced, to mine,
        And locking me to you
    As if we were still twenty-two
    When our grand passion had not yet
        Become familial.
    My quick sleep had deleted all
    Of intervening time and place.
        I only knew
The stay of your secure firm dry embrace.
 
From Selected Poems by Thom Gunn. Copyright © 2009 by Thom Gunn. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

Black Jackets by Thom Gunn
In the silence that prolongs the span
Death's Door by Thom Gunn
The Man with Night Sweats by Thom Gunn
I wake up cold, I who


Further Reading

Poems of Queer Experience
Abandonment Under the Walnut Tree
by D. A. Powell
Antique
by Arthur Rimbaud
At a Dinner Party
by Amy Levy
At the Touch of You
by Witter Bynner
Blue
by May Swenson
Calamus [In Paths Untrodden]
by Walt Whitman
El Beso
by Angelina Weld GrimkÚ
elegy for kari edwards
by Julian T. Brolaski
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
He would not stay for me, and who can wonder
by A. E. Housman
I Built a Fire
by Natalie Clifford Barney
Langston Blue
by Jericho Brown
Love Returned
by Bayard Taylor
Lullaby
by W. H. Auden
On the Road to the Sea
by Charlotte Mew
Queer
by Frank Bidart
Starlight
by William Meredith
syntax
by Maureen N. McLane
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Next Table
by C. P. Cavafy
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve
by Adrienne Rich
Poems About Passion and Sex
9.
by E. E. Cummings
Canterbury Tales, Wife of Bath's Prologue [Excerpt]
by Geoffrey Chaucer
A Greek Island
by Edward Hirsch
A Sequence
by Leslie Scalapino
Almost There
by Timothy Liu
Antique
by Arthur Rimbaud
Arts & Sciences
by Philip Appleman
At the Touch of You
by Witter Bynner
Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm
by Carl Phillips
Because I cannot remember my first kiss
by Roger Bonair-Agard
Blue
by May Swenson
Boston
by Aaron Smith
Carrefour
by Amy Lowell
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
Elegy 5
by Ovid
Erotic Energy
by Chase Twichell
First Turn to Me...
by Bernadette Mayer
Fish Fucking
by Michael Blumenthal
Fixed
by Christopher Stackhouse
In Praise of Shame
by Lord Alfred Douglas
Kinky
by Denise Duhamel
Libido
by Rupert Brooke
Me in Paradise
by Brenda Shaughnessy
My Bright Aluminum Tumblers
by Michael Ryan
National Nudist Club Newsletter
by Wayne Koestenbaum
No Platonic Love
by William Cartwright
Novel
by Arthur Rimbaud
Poems of Passion and Sex
Prague
by Khadijah Queen
Privilege of Being
by Robert Hass
Safe Sex
by Donald Hall
Sex
by Michael Ryan
Song
by James Joyce
Stones
by Michael Blumenthal
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Elephant is Slow to Mate
by D.H. Lawrence
To His Mistress Going to Bed
by John Donne
Undressing You
by Witter Bynner
Wild Rose
by Bryher
XIII
by CÚsar Vallejo
Year of the Tiger
by Miguel Murphy