Author: Cassandra de Alba

Cassandra de Alba lives in Massachusetts. Her work can be found in ILK, Red Lightbulbs, Plain Wrap Press, Illuminati Girl Gang, and Shabby Doll House. Her most recent chapbooks are called Bloodlust (No Spaceships Allowed) and Special Bitch Academy. She can also be found on Tumblr and Twitter.

bury me in a can of mtn dew kickstart

dangle my legs off a warm concrete ledge
drive seven miles in a single pop song
cut off my tshirts; fix my fingers with ink
blow smoke at the sun from the side of a pond
float like this summer’s the laziest river,
the sweetest buzz, the longest view –
stop thinking about you.
stop thinking about you.

what i know about the afterlife

i. my dead loved ones are too dignified
for Ghost Hunters International

ii. i met this girl
who is terrified
of Ouija boards

they’re still fake

iii. i make altars
but all they do
is look pretty
and trap dust

iv. every Dia de los Muertos
i steal marigolds
from a stranger’s garden
because Somerville’s flower shops
don’t know it’s November

they sell bright rich-people flowers
year-round, but nothing to place
in front of my sticker-covered candle
of the Virgin of Guadalupe, next to
my nesting dolls, elephant statues,
a buffalo tooth – they sell nothing
with the power to welcome back
the dead

haunted summer

the ghost cats ate the second-floor ecstasy
and that’s why they jump on your bed
when you’re just sitting there with your laptop
trying to ruin fewer lives.
the girls we’re subletting from told us that
and one of them, the one charley slept with,
said she woke up one night
to a man with a workcoat and beard
holding a shovel, who walked out
through her closed door. she said
she hid in her closet, calling her roommates
until one of them came to see
the nothing he left behind.
i wanted to leave nothing behind,
burn through the summer
like our sidewalk fireworks,
but instead i kissed three boys
and felt bad about all of them,
smoked my cigarettes to the filter
with the squashed rats by the loading dock,
showered in the dark, went to work
stoned. i wanted that floating feeling,
pills and 40s, ponds at sunset,
but i was too broke to buy emotions
or full packs of cigarettes
and i was left with three-for-a-dollar
superette loosies, vague foreboding,
crippling guilt. i don’t remember
the last days of august
as anything more than a misplaced phone,
a last shift at work, lying down
on my borrowed bed
and waiting to be haunted.

hope is an arcade game & i am out of quarters

the screen flashes
play again play again
insert coin(s) insert coin(s)
but i am exhausted
and broke and
the machine beeps
and whistles at me –
the bright circles
on its face flicker
in pleasing unison,
the music swells
and stops
in a burst of darkness
and then the whole thing
lights up at once
like it’s smiling just
for me, just
for everyone
with fifty cents
and some time to kill –
the backlight pulses
in anticipation,
the flappers
and the ball release shudder
and i walk away
as its neon message cycles
to so easy
a child could do it!
why can’t you!
why can’t you!

home alone forever
             (with apologies to steve subrizi)

i want to put on lipstick and a wig
and smoke a nat sherman fantasia
in the living room.
i want to get high and watch cartoons
and not talk for hours.
i want stick and poke tattoos
like a lucky charm bracelet.
i want dirty bruised knees
and i don’t want to shower.
i want to take mushrooms
and pet the cat all afternoon.
i want unfinished craft projects
and i want a mixed drink
and i want to put a record on
and take off my pants
and dance around on the hardwood
and i want the people
at the therapy center next door
to quit staring.

the only trick i know

hollow out your heart
like a jack-o-lantern
scoop out its guts
and discard them

you should have done this
on old newspapers
so the inside of your heart
didn’t stain the table

now carve a face
make sure it’s a smile
with holes for eyes

light a weak, drippy candle
and wait

i wanna put on my jellies & go down to the mall & impress you

i want watermelon lip gloss & roll-on body glitter
i wanna run into you at record town & buy the same cd as you
i wanna see you without your t-shirt
i wanna see you all the time
i want you to touch me by accident & get embarrassed
i want you to blush because of me
i wanna play gameboy games with you
i wanna split an orange crush
i wanna be an indie song about riding bikes & holding hands
even though i am very bad at both of those things
i am very bad at liking you right now
i wanna like you in 1997
let’s start a zine together
let’s make out in the grass
let’s stare at the sun until we both go blind