ugh @ everything gorgeous i’m not allowed to touch
i want to bite into an ornamental orange
& let its bitter juice run down my chin.
why can’t i luxuriate in the ferns?
i want to sleep at the feet of an armless
marble queen. i want the sun to dive
straight through the skylight
into my unworthy skin.
the ornamental orange trees
are doing a great job
at being beautiful & useless things –
all that inedible fruit clustered
& waiting for no one,
no hands to pick & pluck
or mouth to consume
the garden is birdless & ratless
& antless & half of the plants
are in pots resting on real earth
& i love them, & the ferns
& the fronds & the dangling flowers,
the mosaic surrounded
by all the downy not-grass
that no one gets to step on
there are so many coins
in the fountain
you’re not supposed
to throw coins into
i want to live in this garden
after a hurricane, after 6 months
of neglect. would the birds come
then? how many panes of skylight
unscathed? how many of these plants
have never seen a storm
except through four stories
would an inedible fruit
satisfy the same
if there were no one
to tell me no?
the entire ocean has become a ghost,
cum-white and luminescent.
people go around saying
we killed it, all self-important
about how they warned us
about the trash islands
and we didn’t listen. like humans
have that kind of power over water.
most of the fish are dead, but
the whales are still alive,
gigantic bodies slicing
through the milky murk.
every ship that was on the ocean
became a ghost ship,
and the ones that weren’t
can’t launch, held back
in the harbors by some invisible net.
no one goes swimming any more—
a few surfers off the california coast
still paddle out every morning,
but the waves won’t hold them.
over and over, their boards cut
the curl like it’s air, like it’s time
to stop believing
in the concept of support.
Cassandra de Alba’s work has appeared in Red Lightbulbs, Illuminati Girl Gang, NAP, and Drunken Boat, among others. She lives in Massachusetts with two Emilys and a cat named Roger Mindfucker.
I can be found on the internet here: http://outsidewarmafghans.tumblr.com/ and here: https://twitter.com/cassandraintroy and also running the Boston Poetry Slam tumblr: http://bostonpoetryslam.tumblr.com/ which is my primary source of validation most days.