Red Nail Polish
by Danielle Hanson

You asked me to paint my nails red
and so, of course, I did
even though I hated the way
they stalked the eye.
My hand was suddenly not my own.
It was five cherry bombs
waiting to go off.
My arm was the shadow
of a red light district.

I shouldn’t have gone but it was too late.
Fire ants were marching,
the sun was red and multiple,
the blue was red, the green, everything.

I wanted to cut my fingers off, escape,
but that would only let the color run
to the counter, the floor,
multiply like cockroaches and hide in the dark.
I couldn’t get them all anyway.
What would I do when one hand was only a stub?
I needed them.  How could I sever them from you?

by Danielle Hanson

The air is crystallizing into gray.
It’s the job of some things just to cover
Anything they find.
Vines, water, gravity, slowness.
You can’t stay far enough away.
The browns are being sucked
Into the blues being sucked
Into the grays.  People’s eyes
Are gray—the color is leaking
Down their faces as they slowly
Move.  The air is made up of vines
Crawling around us, snakes.
They are invisible and we are
The fruit and the prey.

by Danielle Hanson

Salamanders drop
Tails when threatened.
Trees lose branches
To parasitic ice.

Shadows sever
Small pieces,
Growing from the loss.

Worms, I am told,
Form two clones when severed.
They all know
How to banish the body
To give the soul more room.

The sky drops its pieces,
Birds rising.


Danielle Hanson received her MFA from Arizona State University
and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.  Her work has appeared in over
thirty journals and anthologies, including
Iodine, Lake Effect, Rosebud,
Clackamas Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Poet Lore,
Asheville Poetry Review, and Blackbird.  She has edited Hayden’s
Ferry Review
, been on staff at The Meacham Writers’ Conference,
and received the Fulton County Arts Council Grant for a residency at
the Hambidge Center.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 6, Number 1
(Spring 2011)

Copyright © 2011
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.
So Far Away From You