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

Close
Close

The grey-green snake of the Grand Canal
heels itself behind a fleet of hulls
and white marble writes white marble on the face
of the water under the façades
in a fat oily squiggle straight from the tube.
When the tyre-clad flank of the vaporetto thuds
against the belly of the dock, we pilgrims watch
how in her sky-blue suit the blonde conductress
throws an eight around the two
Arsenal-forged cast-iron bollards
and brings the boat’s
stern first and then its prow
into a tame adjacency.
She might have stepped straight out of that
mural I’ve just been to see
where a small local female saint subdues
the scaly basilisk and leads it
still trembling with lust on a length of cord
– it must be silk – across the square and through
the parting crowd – it must be here
where the sea’s edge drapes its hard green lace
on polished stones our feet perceive as waves.

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