national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2011


Melissa Goodrich  • 
Susquehanna University

after Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz



There is a story in which snow

is pushed cliff to cliff


with a brownbrush broom, a tree

like an ache in glass, a space


to put oneself out like an ashtray, how sand

and snow both blow. Say hello,


pluck your head off and replace it

like a lampshade over a bulb. Be still


in stillness, in white in a white

jacket, the sky pinned closed


with clouds. They take their bad children

to the well and then pause in the snow


with girls, hang their clothes

from trees and brood


into them, when the children shiver wet

and silver in the pit and birds


never come but there is a nudge

of black beyond the glass, a soft


clicking. The children sink in

and it does not matter how naked


they are. In their hands

the snow stays snow. Or,


you are already almost dead, caught

with your white towel


and no wife, just snow

to fall into after the gunshot, and just snow,


the anonymity of it. Their heads stuck

in tree knots, three young boys bind.


What they saw in that brief

hooding, unhooding. Or


your house tips over or a wolf

comes out of the woods


for something to eat. Sometimes you die

as your horse descends


the mountains and sometimes you are

naked in the electric snow. The overflowing


suitcase of it.