In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

Close
Close

They stand here in a shocked silence,
these grouped bodies in cold dresses,
their eyes downcast; the hands quietly gesture
from this flaking grotto of wishes.

But something flares in a corner –
gladioli, tongues spurting into darkness:
someone has been here before us.

Is it food these people are asking
or their freedom? We wrench the heavy door open
on a flat world, an ordinary crossroads,
silos swaying in a hot ripple.

This is not the chapel
we were looking for, these are not
gods we ever worshipped. We walk out into a rising
hot breath, the give of our tarry footprints.

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