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

Seven Poems Nicole Krauss

Quarters

1
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.


2
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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