Andrea Spofford:
Three Poems


Sometimes I worry about elephants, how they've been changed by human intervention, how poaching has selectively bred out tusks. I worry about what this will do the environment, to elephant eating habits, to their ability to forage for food.

My friend Kate worries about earthquakes. She watches CNN obsessively, scanning for news about fault lines. She calls me sometimes with information on disasters, at-risk locations, news about Japan. When we lived in California she searched for seismographic data, tried to read the peaks and lows.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone is a fault line near the Mississippi River. There is little to no activity along the fault line, but movement would be devastating. When Kate calls to tell me about the fault, how my house in Mississippi is not earthquake proof, that the structure is likely not attached to the foundation, that the whole thing will just slide downhill, I tell her I will run outside, uphill, and watch everything go. You can't just do what you would do in L.A., she says. While she talks I look up videos of dogs in Japan, elephants playing in a plastic pool. 

My life I Was Entirely Distracted
By the Facts, Namely That Time is Going By
                                                —Lyn Hejinian

To be human
assemble a basket
glossy paper something
to tie everything together
a combination of rayon
silk thread yarn tendon
thick and wet.

Collect buttons
an air proof canister
air-raid sirens hurricane sirens
the branches after storms.

Outside a girl walks
under a ladder
the building maintenance
man sways atop
you think
how many days until May?

Count the sand worn into the carpet
the trunk of your car
a tissue crumpled in the front seat.


We limped around the house today
you and I both broken
the dog loose and quiet.

Today was windows open
scuffed hiking boots
an empty cup left overnight.

I have not yet done the dishes
the dog is stretched lengthwise
you are asleep.

It is Sunday
soft and quiet
dark outside beyond the streetlamps.

Andrea Spofford currently lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where she is a Ph.D. candidate at the USM Center for Writers. She is currently obsessed with place, side shows, and shoes and spends much time outside.

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