Danielle Hanson is the author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize Winner, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in over 50 journals. She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and has edited Loose Change Magazine and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Daniellejhanson.com
The Ant Curse
I attach a curse to ant,
whisper your name in its ear.
Memories are like ghosts
you can’t look in the eye.
The dead have their own
tasks, lists that always
begin with departure.
Are you dead yet?
There is ant
that is curse
looking for you.
Let’s look at that empty lot over there,
where liquor store with more dust
and rust than bottles once stood.
Let’s imagine it as field—let’s cover it
with flowers—purples, blues, reds,
and enough yellow to make us squint a little.
And let’s inscribe each petal with a fortune,
or the name of a past lover, or a secret involving
blood and lots of it. Let’s use the most expensive
inks, set types lost since the Middle Ages.
Then let’s light it up—let’s watch
flora ghosts rising from a field on fire.
In the Olden Days
A witch could knock at your door
and hand you universe, a goddess
could turn into tree, or something
even better, a horse could tell you a story.
But here, there’s just stupid
light from the window, dirt covering
yard, and weeds made entirely of thorns;
asphalt and rot in abundance; rat
dying in wall. And sometimes,
dog sleeps with a soft ear lightly
on you and then, there’s that
glorious light in the window . . .