Alternative Universes


Think about your best friend. What would they say

if they were looking at this? Write it on a banana peel and laugh when the clown slips. Cast the clown as whoever you want. Cast Jessica as whoever you want. As many people as you want. As many things as you want. Cast I as a character in a life you’ve never led. Or this one.

-from “Disclaimer”



In these poems, Hannah Nathanson imagines universes where Saturn is a bee-hive, where best friends get married in dresses made by mermaids, where one might live in a jewelry box or adopt a peach. These poems are surreal yet accessible, and each alternat(iv)e universe so vivid that, even if it’s just as painful as the one we already live in, you can’t help but want to step inside and inhabit it for a while.


Astronaut queen bee girly

girls, limeade metronome,

crowning leaf manuscript.

In this, it is February and

I don’t see fireworks, I do.

Mango drop-off, bee-hive

saturn, boxer library.


February before


-from “Alternative Universe

Where Saturn Is A Bee-Hive”