Golden Gardens Beach by Amanda Hartzell


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.