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

Two PoemsCharles Simic
Close
Close

Prophecy

The last customer will stagger out of the door.
Cooks will hang their white hats.
Chairs will climb on the tables.
A broom will take a lazy stroll into a closet.

The waiters will kick off their shoes.
The cat will get a whole trout for dinner.
The cashier will stop counting receipts,
Scratch her ass with a pencil and sigh.

The boss will pour himself another brandy.
The mirrors will grow tired of potted palms
And darken slowly the way they always do
When someone runs off with a chicken.

Fiordiligi

My mother sang opera all day long.
She made beds, shucked peas
And swore that not even death
Could change her heart’s devotion.

Her voice was like a police siren,
Her voice was like soft evening rain.
In the shed, the rabbits trembled,
The rooster looked admiringly at her.

Days of ecstasy, anguish, silence.
A year of long black dresses,
A year of white handkerchiefs,
Crumpled and strewn on the floor.

Once we took a walk in the cemetery.
The leafless old trees terrified me,
And so did her hands clenched into fists
As her chin rose higher and higher.

Grocers and mailmen ran from her
As from a sleepwalker
Who came after them in broad daylight,
Asking for the news of her lost love.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences