Tomaž Šalamun

A February Poem, translated from the Slovenian. Of course, here in Northern California, February is a month of emerald green and blossoms. But for the rest of you, a more apt description.

There is a time when

There is a time when
pure emotions
invade us like
bags from the black pressed
of a shark—
February. The month
of raked leaves under
the thick blanket of snow,
of pink snails, shut
in dark waters.
The light beams forcefully through
a fork and a knife.
Sandals and streets
on Crete
the dining room
with a glow and dust.
It is time for drying fish up North.
In Denmark men in clogs
wrapped in wool
carry food into stony
halls. City buses
quiet polite

Tomaž Šalamun
Translated by Sonja Kravanja

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