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This poem is taken from PN Review 105, Volume 22 Number 1, September - October 1995.

Seven Poems Nicole Krauss


In winter, in morning, North seems more thing
than idea. It slips in bed with you
directing your last dreams toward waking.

Things take on a Scandinavian odour,
and the older your lodgings are, the colder
your feet will be. Between a lover's ear and shoulder

is the snuggest place you can think of.
Space turns white instead of a shadowy grey,
and your pallor lightens by instinct, so as not to betray

your face. There is a need to go unrecognized
in winter, to follow the same route both ways.
Seeing someone you know, try to look away.

The bastara spring comes early, disowned by March.
There is something vaguely offensive about tulips,
so stupidly pleased in the face of what is serious.

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