To The Courier of Love
(A bike messenger on Valentines Day)
I want to ride on your handlebars
climb into your messenger bag
hug your skull like your beanie hat
wish you’d whisper into me,
the radio clipped close to your mouth
above your scarred collarbone
after work I’ll slide into you
with the beers and the whiskey
hot in your gut.
I turned away your eager cold-air kiss
hated the flush of your cheeks reddened at the bar
neglected your legs and your arms
tired from peddling hills and alleys
pushing your bike on and off the train
up and down the stairs
chain ticking as you coast the streets home.
I can’t promise I’ll be better
despite my wanting to…
I’m here uncombed in my old bathrobe and fuzzy slippers
looking like a crazy house wife
and I am crazy but I can’t be your wife
cause I can’t love you back
I blame unpaid bills, your premature ejaculations,
and the stubborn black
steeling up your eyes.
I’m afraid you know
I only love you
when you ride away.
Killing Love on February 14th
The Blade runner killed his girlfriend today.
He runs on two thin hooks,
propelling him forward
A beautiful new kind of animal.
Today the police cover up
burning one of their own.
He was on a murderous rampage
We all know a blaze of glory
is the only way to go.
you break up with me on Valentine’s Day.
For effect I smash the cake I made you
shatter pieces of chocolate and cheap white china
that’s my small blaze.
I thought I’d make the heart shaped pancakes
like I’d planned, break them in two
spread bloody strawberries into the crack.
And why I am I so mad?
We text the only words between us
use a series of door slams as periods.
This is my fault.
You tell me not to be so nice to you
so you can move on.
I don’t know how to not be nice
without maintaining anger
so I throw things and say Fuck a lot.
A predatory animal
I’m only willing to fight for you
after a break.
You tell me I hold all the cards.
I tell you I don’t want the cards,
Why can’t we just be?
Can’t you sit still
next to me
let me feel this thing
grow up through my rib bones
a green snaking stalk
it’s there when I miss you but I know that’s selfish
hold my hand, hear the leaves unfold inside me.
You fail to realize that I live with a surety that I will disappoint
I won’t know how to hit a ball with a paddle,
or how to drink in bars, I’m scared to ride bicycles,
and sometimes even to leave my house.
I wanted to learn,
to be human.
I throw the cards back to you
they only fall
softly to the floor .
Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, CA. Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has published in Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Hip Mama, Bleed Me A River, Criminal Class Review, Enizagam among many others. Look for links and chapbooks on cassandradallett.com