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

Gusting across, not waiting

for the lights, just one more
loose end of the working day

leaking home through the cracks
in the traffic, at six

already dark ... Across, between
a humped WIMPY-jacketed back

hugging two carrier-bags
from the off-licence,

and a shock mascara’d
teenage mum gone grey

in my headlights
(her buggy-bound astronaut

bumping down
to the breath of exhaust on his cheek) ...

Across, not looking left or right
between the neon CHRIST

IS THE ANSWER on the shut
shop of the chapel

and the Asian minimarket
(the whole family gathered in

round the freezer, disputing,
their faces lit upwards

in Christmas-card glow) ...
Ghosting across, between

my bumper and the brakelights
of a transit van, not an arm’s reach away

and turning for a moment,
square on and not seeing,

it was you –
pale puffed and bulky

as if flickered up
by my dipped beam out of focus.

I was glad to see you cast a shadow.

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