Andrea Samuelson
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Short Fiction

These are two examples of my poetry. "The Rambla at Alfaix" won the 2010 Bank Street Writers Competition.    

The Rambla at Alfaix

This is the road the river left behind,
the way it went. 

The air is burdened with the memory of water
evidence of flood.

The pumping station's barefoot stumps
ruddy with rust, empty snail shells

cling like paper to the thorn.

Here the fruit grows wild and no one picks it.
Purple figs and livid pomegranates

split open in the dust, small dark oranges hard as want.

They say the devil does not speak
because there is nothing to speak of.

Whole injuries lie immersed in silence
sitting on a scarred sofa, cracked to the frame,

sitting by the edge of the path,
at the wheel of an abandoned car

saturated in cricket-song.
Air bubbles rise to the surface

of an immense avoidance.
The first fine dots of rain

sharp as pipa shells, vanish
in the dust. But more will come, and more.

Along the river bed a single slit of weed
clings green to the last damp trace of silt

the wild corn in the field beyond
grows higher than the clouds.

Instructions for an Earthquake

Sunday morning. The bedposts shake
grasped by some fierce hand. The dead walls moan.

On the radio, phone in voices speak
of damage in Dover, ruptures in Kent,

pushing all the damage done in other places
off the radar, for a day;

while the unknown faults that lie beneath
collect and build to break another time.

When two surfaces have been fused too long
the pressure builds, foundations shift

like the plates in a baby's skull.
Check that nothing has been broken;

finger the crack in the wall next to the door,
evidence of a shift in what is possible,

an opened vein.

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