In the latest issue:

An Ordinary Woman

Alan Bennett

Anglo-America Loses its Grip

Pankaj Mishra

Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

Keith Thomas

Mrs Oliphant

Tom Crewe

Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

Colin Grant

Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery

Churchill’s Cook

Rosemary Hill

The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

Joanna Biggs

Paid to Race

Jon Day

Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

Andrew O’Hagan

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

Erin Maglaque

Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood

Close
Close

The woman who’s dying is trying to lose her life.
It’s a great adventure
For everyone trying to help her.
Actually, death avoids her, doesn’t want to hurt her.

So to speak, opens her hand and gently takes away the knife
Everyone well-meaning wants her to use on herself.
There is no knife, of course.
And she’s too weak.

If you’re too ill, the clinic near Zurich that helps
People leave this world won’t.
If you’re that medicated and out of it and desperate,
You may not be thinking right about wanting to end your life.

If you’re near death, you may be too near
For the clinic to help you over the barrier.
She weakly screams she wants to die.
Hard to believe her pain is beyond the reach of drugs.

Please die. Please do. Her daughters don’t want her to die and do.
The world of dew is a world of dew and yet
What airline will fly someone this sick?
They can afford a hospital plane but

Can she still swallow? The famous barbiturate cocktail
The clinic is licensed to administer isn’t the Fountain of Youth.
But what if she gets there and drinks it and it only makes her ill?
And she vomits. It’s unreal.

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