Breakfast With Thom Gunn

By Randall Mann

In Memory, 1929-2004

We choose a cheap hotel

because they’re serving drinks.

We drink. I hear him tell

a tale or two: he thinks

that so-and-so’s a sleaze;

and then there was the time

that Milosz phoned, oh please.

Another gin with lime?

I want to say that once,

I saw him dressed in leather,

leaning on a fence

inside a bar. Rather,

walking to the N,

I gush about his books;

he gives his change to men

who’ve lost their homes and looks:

how like him, I’ve been told.

Our day together done,

I hug him in the cold.

And then the train is gone.