In the latest issue:

The World Goes Bust

Adam Tooze

A nice girl like Simone

Joanna Biggs

The Arrestables

Jeremy Harding

Short Cuts: Built from Light

Daniel Soar


Edmund Gordon

The Ghent Altarpiece

Julian Bell

You can’t prove I meant X

Clare Bucknell

At the Royal Academy: Léon Spilliaert

John-Paul Stonard

Conrad Jumps Ship

Fredric Jameson

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Poem: ‘Mayfly’

Fiona Benson

Follow the Science

James Butler

Diary: #coronasomnia

Wang Xiuying

My HandsTariq Latif

All day I have wiped paste inks
From auxiliary rollers, ink ducts,
Rubber stamps and the work top. Dabbing
My fingers in trichloroethane.

The cleaning solution is clear as water
And smells like methylated spirits.
My fingers are numb. When I squeeze
Them they tingle, letting loose

Tiny electric bolts. The top part
Of the fingerprints is grained with inks.
My fingers are like lighthouses
Granulating under a storm of acids.

Fissures straddle across them.
Some cuts run deep as valleys.
The air is loaded with missile-shaped
Atoms that bombard the surface.

Dust plumes up. I shed flesh flakes.
My hands are ageing, faster
Than the rest of me, mummified
In the corrosive vapours of my vocation.

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