In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Close
Close

The slightest words define the most.
Am, for instance, filling up a life,
Expressing, if expression is compelled,
The body’s territorial extent;
Assertion’s power to concentrate
A colony of egos in
Their dusty settlements of skin.
Denials, deprecations, steppings down,
Apologies like mornings, wry with mist,
Assumptions of uniqueness, leaky dawns,
Fluorescent, repetitious afternoons,
And fragile nights with sprays of stars,
Each chip and bit, each lucid smithereen,
A glimpse inside what might have been,
A looking-glass of overripe
And tinily declarative
Boltholes
Speckled with defections and
Disfigured with this spreading black
That takes each thinning drift of breath
And will not give it back.

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