The woman in the photograph
stands in the foreground
of some blurred landscape,
nameless and tree-full.

She is looking away, collar
turned up, crows floating
in mid-air like question marks.

Behind her, fox prints mark
the snow’s drifts,
or maybe they are only flaws,
afterimages in the sepia.
I want them to be fox prints.

Standing in the vintage shop
I wonder how she arrived here,
what careless family lost this heirloom.
I’d conjure a whole life for her
but she’s already inhabited.

I hold it so long that the pale gold
seeps out of the photograph
and stains my fingers
as I wonder over and over again
how long it’s been since her lungs
drank in that snow-bright air
and where she’s gone,
whether she crawled into the fox
and ran off to consume
a whole forest.