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

Man in SpaceCharles Boyle
Close
Close

No, I said, the title wasn’t sexist,
I was thinking about the Russian cosmonauts
who were stuck in orbit, and how they hooked up a British princess
and an interpreter
and got them to make polite conversation.

Then there was Daniel, who wanted a child
but whose girlfriend didn’t.
After five years of precautions
he began sleeping with another woman.

The night he told me she was pregnant
and that he didn’t love her, he told me also
his recurring dream: he’s tobogganing
down this hill he remembers, it was called the Death Trap –
near the bottom you had to make a sharp turn
and steer through a gate, if you failed
you smashed into a fence.

Now he’s gathering speed, going faster and faster ...
And suddenly there’s nothing there, just snow
upon snow upon snow.

I poured us another glass. And the child too, I told him,
like an illegal immigrant, stowed away
in darkness, among the crates of Old World cheeses
and bits of machinery, en route to the promised land.
You have to make that arrival good.

He said it’s not like that, it’s all refrigerated
containers. We argued
about the transport of whisky, and about the girls of America.

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