Living in Drought Can Make You Crazy And Other Poems

By Cassandra Dallett

Living in Drought
Can Make You Crazy

Dreams of rain tap you awake
false patter on window glass

dry nights you remember—

lightning’s thrill crack and flash
the humid build up
breaking wet
the musical pound on tin roof
first drops
spread fat and warm

nights in the city
between parties
pavement’s shine
rain streamed face
strychnine in your gut
headlights catch you
blurry and delicious

that one storm
last year
flooded the subway
soaked your clothes
the shrink called
told you turn back
there’s no electricity
no elevators
nothing but downpour
and dark windows ahead

you standing on Market Street
drenched and laughing.

Lonely and Lovely
are Almost Spelled The Same

I did not die
when Ant Wiley dragged me up the stone wall
dangling over the bay

Police lights bathed me
in relief of his relentless
fists and feet

I was not shot by cops
when guns were pointed
at my head

I did hide in my room
a lot
still do, huddled here now

With the twitching dog, the computer,
and my stomach ache

I’m lonely
and I want to eat Xanax
and cereal

Never overdosed
but wanted out
many times

Never cut
having too many scars

Begged to have my hair pulled
my face smashed into the head board
that escape is short lived

I went to the movies tonight
with a guy from a bar
just to do it. just because I’m lonely
or something
His desperation
was rubbing on me, giving me

He wanted to show me off
he wanted to take me to the mall, to eat,
to his bar

I wanted to get out
couldn’t get home fast enough
all that need reminded me
of my own

How it feels to really like someone
and how these months I relearned what it’s like
to like no one

to look into the future
and see nothing
like I did

Back when guys like Ant Wiley
beat the shit out of me
and I still wanted a boyfriend

To pick me up after work
eat chicken fried steak at Denny’s
drink gin and juice in the car
with someone

Cause he made me laugh
and got that look in his eye when he came
that glazed dazed look that made me feel
some kind of way

Numb like this, I miss feeling
some kind of way

Actually it was the worst reminder
that I have not grown up
at all
That I will obsessively text
where I once

That I will sit in my room
and cry for a very long time
broken and looping
no power button shut off

love lives only in pages and songs
so I’m thinking about buying cassettes tapes again
stacking them high with the books on the shelves
surrounding me, and the shivering dog
late into the cold night

There is moon
and there is me
I did not die.

Down with Regret

roots are branches upside down

fear steals breath at night

full moon floods the shower through skylight

the yard a shining quiet thief

two salmon colored roses fight the drought

I roll over tight into myself

don’t touch me language my back

every hair on razor alert

a dangerous pet who loves petting

but will bite your hand off and your tongue don’t even think about it

barnacle of habit I cling to mattress

remember what runaway ex said space creates desire

take a hike already and the comforter

vertical stripe not to the side

your bed making makes me feel boxed in

my crimes require multiple partners

when you texted your son he said he was dying

made up a disease, said that’s what it would take for you to call

I call you clueless would rather not call you at all

next door the empty lot resplendent in trash

my tree a stump outside the window

I tell myself it doesn’t bother me barren

of black bags and balls gone missing

everyday it breaks my heart its lack of green

alien vines that root when they touch the ground

once filled with bird scream screened us

from neighbors smoking on their porch

curious cloud facing the guestroom

guard dogs on garage roofs threaten our every move

now naked these un-kept fences sag

inside with me where I never really wanted you

my big mouth said otherwise on the rebound

the rebound got me down

one body for another has never worked well

I’ve grown I say changed but its a younger model

I’ve Benjamin Buttoned my old self down I’ll miss now

How I’ll dust my feathers off this time

agonize sleepless moon night and wonder

shaking pills ziplock to palm

whoever said drugs won’t solve the problem

never had a pill lady with good Xanax

This concludes our broadcast: good night and good riddance.

bio-standardCassandra Dallett lives in Oakland, CA. Cassandra is a two-time Pushcart nominee and Literary Death Match winner. She has been published online and in many print magazines, such as Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Chiron Review, Stone Boat Review, and Great Weather For Media and reads often around the San Francisco Bay Area. A full-length book of poetry Wet Reckless was released on Manic D Press May 2014. In 2015 she authored Bad Sandy (Lucky Bastard Press), Pearl Tongue (Be About It Press), The Water Wars (Pedestrian Poets Series), On Sunday, A Finch (Nomadic Press) which was nominated for a California Book Award, and most recently Armadillo Heart (Paper Press) with MK Chavez.

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