Hanna Andrews


i remember the mailorder-blue rubber boots you wore through
the winter, slushcaked & propped up by the front file cabinet,
the slim wet hems of your khaki pants. your eyes were dark
blank stamps—hotel, basement, empty classroom. pages.
i stayed inside, stopped being special, softened. i began noticing
simpler patterns. i began noticing birds because everyone was
noticing birds. muse, you are not so much a muse but a changing
face on a dartboard—a thief, a child, one with swagger, one
attempting grace. the man who was a paring knife, the woman
who performed long division with a loaf of bread. somewhere,
the neuroscientists are working on my synapses—their scalpels
carving a chronology from my one bleeding day.


through the winter, propped up by hems,
(dark, blank)
i stopped, softened.
simpler patterns:
everyone was noticing birds, grace
paring chronology from one bleeding day


dark stopped
everyone was noticing birds


"In Explanation" is from a series of three-section poems that are, in essence, translations of themselves. They are interested in the tricky business of how humans constantly "revise" their own experiences and memories through recollection and re-"telling"—this particular poem is sort of the ars poetica of the project—the need for the process of sorting through, or funneling, memory until the image sticks.