When the Ravens Descend

what flits
through the skull
of the starving deer


out of the cedars
onto the frozen lake

legs buckling
downwind of death

nostrils crusted with ice
breath in heaves

does the eye of the deer
the beak of the raven

as it’s pecked
from the socket and swallowed

does the ear of the deer
the raven’s call

for the wolf
to tear open the throat

what leaps
when the belly’s ripped
into the ethereal forest

what exhalation
above the din
from the rib cage perch

what story now on the wind

what will flit
through my skull
when the ravens descend

what will rise
besides the steam
when my guts
are dragged out across the snow

Rae Crossman

Scored for soprano voice and Bohlen-Pierce soprano clarinets by Owen Bloomfield