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

Close
Close

They’d always out in the end
– or so it was claimed – of their own accord.
Then why did he vividly recall
gouging at the wrinkled pad of his index
with a brutal pin picked from the sewing-box?

Strange how the years go by
how less and less the need arises
to plough flesh after some buried speck.
Always black as a thorn whatever the source.
Driving a fork through clay,
he’d hook it finally with a braced pin

there

it would spring loose.
Confess itself. Cleansed,
he’d return both hands to the given task.

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