2 Poems by Cassandra de Alba

pink flowers in the blue nighttime, yellow hand crossing its fingers

parade route

hope is an obsolete organ
abandoned in the body
until it tries to kill us
is the theme of this parade

the floats are mounds
of gristle and slime

all the lights aquarium-blue,
dull and fluorescent

the only music the hiss
of a candle killed
by wet fingers

I am riding
on a hunk of gray meat
shaped like a shooting star

on my sash is a pun
I won’t repeat

I am throwing candy to the children
but it is wrapped in plastic
that will never biodegrade

the children are opening their mouths
to show me the future
but all I see is darkness
surrounded by teeth

music video treatments for a song in which I don’t get what I want

a warped cassette collapses
as it plays, catches fire,
burns down the small room
where I am a dark shape
against white walls.

a slow tracking shot centers me
in an empty concrete basement
as I silently vomit silver glitter
from a standing position.

my heart melts through my chest
thick and waxy
and puddles on the floor.
the puddle dries to a high shine.
a boot comes down and cracks it.

an object in the sky
is revealed to be my right hand,
poorly manicured,
with its fingers crossed.
the assembled birds
attack and devour.


Cassandra de Alba is a poet living in Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in The Shallow Ends, Big Lucks, smoking glue gun, and Spy Kids Review, among other publications. Her chapbooks habitats (Horse Less Press, 2016) and ORB (Reality Hands, 2018) are about deer and the moon, respectively, and Ugly/Sad was released by Glass Poetry Press in 2020. She is a co-host at the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge and an associate editor at Pizza Pi Press. Find her on Twitter @cassandraintroy.

Isabel Couchoud is a Spanish illustrator in her 20s, in strict quarantine at the moment trying to do the best of it, drawing, reading, video calls, bothering the cat…normal quarantine stuff. Recently, Isabel has worked with some cultural associations like Ca Saforaui and Skisomic Fest, and magazines like Nokton Magazine and Salty. Find her on Instagram