"(x – h)² + (y – k)² = r²" by Hannah Nathanson

Once I got in a fight about going to Panera

while sitting in a Panera parking lot.

I had to google the equation of a circle
to title this poem.


I want to ask my dad if he can pin
point the exact moment things stopped
going the way he expected them to.


I want to ask my English teacher
if absurdists intend to write
nonsense or if it just comes out
that way.


I want to ask if there’s really two ends to
every story, kinda like those Choose Your
Own Adventure books, yeah
those were real cool. 

"Oh Sweet Plum" by Hannah Nathanson


Dear plum,
please do not bury me
or my mother.


We see you at night when
you don’t think we can,
ears pressed to bed boards
sweat on mattress springs.


Your pits are filled with cyanide,
do not think we do not know
this when we swallow.


My precious, oh dear,
do not doubt this:
we see you, dub you as poison
that our bodies can take. 

"Half the Story" by Hannah Nathanson


In your parents' kitchen:
comments on female sexuality,
skin-on-skin, head between your knees,
spilled the soup. Can you imagine


Women chopped off in a lawn mower.
When I asked why you didn’t answer.


You remain,


No, the joke was never actually
about tin coffee cans creaking.


describe the mentioned thing:
            -kissing cousins

            -a last resort
            -laundry room
            -The Supporting Role
            -bandage width


No, the poem was never actually
about plums and cyanide.