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

The Inequality Engine

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

Mud HoneymoonSylvia Kantaris
Close
Close

The tide had drawn the river out and made
their bridal bed immaculate.
Too late now to stop. Already
they had grown amphibious and entered
slithering and stripping off Age
after Age of formal wedding-dress
to reach their satin element of mud,
their skin a sheen of mud,
their belly mud on mud,
their pulse a simple wedding march of mud.

They were not seen again although it’s said
some early-morning fisherman dragged up
a tailcoat and a bridal train from the riverbed
but could not disentangle them and threw them back.

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