"Melting" oil painting by Torild Stray

Those green Huldra
already plastered
your dumbest dream
with white summer clouds
and joyous forest bells

Even the bathroom’s
in bloom now
and every time you shut your eyes
the sea comes closer

Don’t be afraid
when the strange old lady suddenly
lifts her curly skirts
and starts to crow

She’s known you
as long as she can remember

she’ll let the rodent go
and give you the best thing she knows

Kristina Lugn

Kristina Lugn (b. 1948) is the author of eight collections of poetry and eighteen plays, the artistic director of the Brynnsgatan Fyra theatre in Stockholm, Sweden, and a member of the Swedish Academy, the body responsible for choosing the Nobel Prize in Literature. She's also the winner of the Selma Lagerlöf Literature Prize (1999) and the Bellman Prize (2003).

Elizabeth Clark Wessel

Elizabeth Clark Wessel’s translations of Kristina Lugn have appeared or are forthcoming in A Public Space, Asymptote, and Lana Turner. She is an editor at Argos Books and for Circumference, a journal of poetry in translation.