Strip malls like this are common hunting grounds
rich with food rotting easy to scavenge–

in myths crows arrive with bright Valkyries
to gather the best fighters from battle

and usher to Valhalla; they look close
to discern warrior or rancid meat–

again perched on top of my car, a crow
waits on me as I exit the market,

its murder loud somewhere I cannot see,
their sound fills the air like laughing ghost birds

that egg on this cocksure raven glaring–
in his feathers’ sheen the eye’s a wet stone

staring–so that I’m sure this third time’s no
random act: on the third day a third crow.


Noah Stetzer is a graduate of The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and also a recipient of scholarships from Lambda Literary Retreat for Emerging LGBT Writers & Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. His poem, "Eclipseā€¯ was a finalist in the first annual Tinderbox Poetry Journal Contest/2015. Noah's chapbook Because I Can See Needing a Knife (Red Bird) will be published in 2016. Born & raised in Pittsburgh PA, he now lives in the Washington DC area.