Eleven at night still a strip of orange
ignites mountains I can’t yet name.
Above the lapping bay rove helicopters
and possessive northwest crows. Difference
between crows and ravens are a crow’s
size and bill and throat feathers.
Difference between blood and feather
is a matter of beating or flapping
but both are mysterious work.
Are you keeping notes? Both crows and
ravens have something to say in stories.
One tells the truth. A thousand miles away
do you keep the richness of me or turn out
my delicate and bitter pieces
as if I offered from a scavenger’s beak?
I keep clothes you touched me in. I’d pluck
out my feathers and recite the name
for every mountain but most here are volcanoes,
heights pumice and obsidian and ancient
above the bay where the sailboats flicker
and strain, more wind than rope.
Amanda Hartzell holds an MFA from Emerson College in Boston. Her work has appeared in New Letters, Paper Darts, Petrichor Journal, The Knicknackery, West Trade Review, Kestrel, Carve Magazine, and Cathexis Northwest Press, among others, has finished as a finalist in Glimmer Train, and won the Alexander Patterson Cappon Prize. Originally from eastern PA, she now live in Seattle with her son, husband, and their dog.