In the latest issue:

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

‘The Man in the Red Coat’

Luc Sante

Is it OK to have a child?

Meehan Crist

Short Cuts: Ubu Unchained

August Kleinzahler

Bury that bastard

Nicole Flattery

Surplus Sons

Clare Bucknell

Oliver Lee Jackson

Adam Shatz

The Servant Problem

Alison Light

Poem: ‘1 x 30’

Anne Carson

The Old Bailey

Francis FitzGibbon

Jiggers, Rods and Barleycorns

James Vincent

More Marple than Poirot

J. Robert Lennon

On Rachael Allen

Matthew Bevis

Like a Ball of Fire

Andrew Cockburn

The Staffordshire Hoard

Tom Shippey

Blessed Isles

Mary Wellesley

At the Movies: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’

Michael Wood

Redeeming Winnie

Heribert Adam

Diary: A Friendly Fighting Force

Nick McDonell

Driving in the car with herDon Coles
Vol. 10 No. 13 · 7 July 1988

Driving in the car with her

Don Coles

165 words

Driving in the car with her
Was wonderful! So close –
He loved, without any rush
To say so,

Those guileless uncoverings of
Legs getting in, their confidential
Jostlings as long as he kept
His foot down, the car

Moving in the tunnel of itself
Narrowing their options to
Crossing or uncrossing, or just
Dumbly offering themselves

Usually neatly together, which was
Fine, or now and then
Faintly apart. Amazing
How much good will

Their speechlessness built,
Also their apparent autonomy,
Not acknowledging her subtle face
Up above them even once,

While on the windscreen
Loomed and fled
Whole transparencies of clouds and leaves
As he drove – unused pastorals

Stacking up behind. No matter
Whether, re-arranging herself, she
Occasionally pointed them towards him
Or away, the car’s

Little hurtling sky
Kept them close, and unmolested
Unless by a pensive hand,
Inadvertently. O Love,

The flawless creatures said,
Only we two can move your mind
To its ghost-marks, always,
And keep you from life’s weariness.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences