In the latest issue:

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

‘The Man in the Red Coat’

Luc Sante

Is it OK to have a child?

Meehan Crist

Short Cuts: Ubu Unchained

August Kleinzahler

Bury that bastard

Nicole Flattery

Surplus Sons

Clare Bucknell

Oliver Lee Jackson

Adam Shatz

The Servant Problem

Alison Light

Poem: ‘1 x 30’

Anne Carson

The Old Bailey

Francis FitzGibbon

Jiggers, Rods and Barleycorns

James Vincent

More Marple than Poirot

J. Robert Lennon

On Rachael Allen

Matthew Bevis

Like a Ball of Fire

Andrew Cockburn

The Staffordshire Hoard

Tom Shippey

Blessed Isles

Mary Wellesley

At the Movies: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’

Michael Wood

Redeeming Winnie

Heribert Adam

Diary: A Friendly Fighting Force

Nick McDonell

Two PoemsCharles Simic
Close
Close

After St Sebastian
Had his chest
Pierced by arrows
He was nursed
Back to health
By a rich widow in Rome
With the help
Of a blind servant girl
Whose soft steps
I may have heard
Entering and leaving
My room at night
And whose name
I’d love to know
And whisper in the dark.

  Saw a toad
jump out of boiling water
  Saw a chicken
dance on a hot plate
  in a penny arcade
Saw Etruscans in a museum
  flogging slaves
to the accompaniment
  of pipes and flutes
Saw a palm tree
  trying to outrun a hurricane
Saw sea waves
  rush ashore
some angry
  some afraid
of what they’ll find
  Saw men and women
lose their heads
  and search for them everywhere
Saw a feast laid out
  on a long table
to which only crows came
  Saw a dog go forth
barking like a prophet of old
  Saw rats and mice
running terrified
  through mazes
   heralding
the evils to come

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