Three black crows hop

in the deep snowy field

behind the library


The snow

glows orange


You sit in your car

engine killed

waiting for something


Nothing falls

from the cloudless night


There’s a point where you come to realize that this is exactly what you wanted to



Why you start hiding things under your bed

neatly in bags

labeled and dated


Snipping out pictures of faces from magazines

for the simple way they feel between your fingers

how in dropping them

they resemble falling leaves


Your father sleeping upright on the couch

Your father screaming at you for not taking the dog out

Your father keeping the dog’s leash in his car for years after her death


Your father dying


The items pile up

all humming beneath you

shaking the mattress

asking you to listen


He isn’t dead

He’s just stopped

speaking to you


Someone taps on the car window

a school friend

asking for a ride


Asking too many questions

thinking you know

about something


how things end or are supposed to—


You’re not breathing but you should


You’re not listening because your ears

are packed with snow


Your collection

requires more stringent organization

so you begin sorting according to taste

tonguing each face

and placing them in tupperware

to keep out air


The white noise of winter

your friend in the passenger seat

fogging up the windows

with her living body

her kinetic body full of blood


A crow lands amongst the others

something in his beak

They fight for it

Splash of red

against the snow


Zoe Etkin


Zoe Etkin is an MFA student at CalArts. She identifies as a poet but is also interested in hybrid forms. Etkin is a recent recipient of the Beutner Award for Excellence in the Arts. Hailing from Memphis, Etkin is interested in the South, but having lived in New Mexico and California, she infuses the West into her aesthetic.

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