In the latest issue:

The World Goes Bust

Adam Tooze

A nice girl like Simone

Joanna Biggs

The Arrestables

Jeremy Harding

Short Cuts: Built from Light

Daniel Soar

‘Cleanness’

Edmund Gordon

The Ghent Altarpiece

Julian Bell

You can’t prove I meant X

Clare Bucknell

At the Royal Academy: Léon Spilliaert

John-Paul Stonard

Conrad Jumps Ship

Fredric Jameson

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Poem: ‘Mayfly’

Fiona Benson

Follow the Science

James Butler

Diary: #coronasomnia

Wang Xiuying

Three PoemsCharles Simic
Close
Close

They promised us free lunch
And all we got Edna
Is wind and rain
And these broken umbrellas
To wield angrily
At cars and buses
Eager to run us over
As we struggle to cross the street.

The woman I adore is a saint
Who deserves to have
People falling on their knees
Before her in the street
Asking for her blessing.
Instead, here she is on the floor,
Hitting a mouse with a shoe
As tears run down her face.

Don’t go psst on me
With a finger
Over your lips,
You seated behind me at the movies,
Or in church
Where I bow my head to pray,
Or in this dive
Where I’m the sole customer,
Hushing me
Out of some dark corner
As I hum to myself
With eyes closed
Thinking of god-knows-what.

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