In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

Close
Close

Cooking Lessons

She had us stand
to the scratch of
blades, opening,
from Bramleys, flat

spirals we’d match
for length,
so thin our knives
ghosted through.

Then, she’d pick
from lifted trays,
like any marketeer,
fenestrated

rose transparencies
to mark (under ‘peel’)
from ten. On the tables
blue bowls of

vanilla slices,
each purse of six cloves
relaxing in the ovens’
pre-heat.

Breaking the drought

Not counting
the last tank’s
thirty gallons,
we took an old prerogative

with basins, jugs,
charged the pledge-
footed bath with its
full slipper of

rich nephologies
our oils no more
met than
turned to.

‘Some joculatrix!’
You drew from the
mirror a damp
‘Femme à la Source’

who, raising a
soaped hand,
caught first testing
of slates

minutes before
in quick morse from
Harter and Slater Fell
the pipes wetted and eased.

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