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Smile

by Henrik Nordbrandt
Translated from Danish by
Patrick Phillips

When I saw you in the dream
you turned to face me

with a finger to your lips
and your eyebrows raised,

smiling as you passed
on tiptoes

through the moonlit,
wrecked bedroom

that I suddenly realized
was my life.

Henrik Nordbrandt is a Danish poet, novelist, and essayist. He made his literary debut in 1966 with the poetry collection Digte. He was awarded the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize in 2000 for the poetry collection Drømmebroer (Dream Bridges).
Translator
Patrick Phillips is an award-winning poet, translator, and professor. A Guggenheim and NEA Fellow, his book Elegy for a Broken Machine was a finalist for the National Book Award. He translated When We Leave Each Other: Selected Poems by the Danish writer Henrik Nordbrandt.