Failure to Resist

pink frosting, hollow cake,

gold wallpaper with repeated pattern

of a tooth, breaking.

i want the vulnerability

of a houseplant, to lose myself

in a confined space.

every morning i smile

at my sheer curtains

& feel algo in me stretch

to the edge of my skin.

i am a poisoned treat,

a sharp knife in the jam.

i am the blood sister

of every precipice.

i would look better

as a head on the mantel

than walking out the door.


tint myself transparent & hide 

there, glitter every bone


              in my body


there are still undiscovered countries

but their governments are failing


in japan scientists have turned 

the meat of the brain


“into a glassy, see-through substance”

they hope will help


           surgeons identify disease


by replacing substance

with a deliberate hole


hope is a disease of the meat

i would like to identify & remove it


in the video game everything

of a certain color is a clue


          to investigate further


players must follow yellow threads

find the hidden [         ]


lucent isn’t a color but a quality of light

a word that can mean both glowing & clear


i absent myself

of all hue but


         this shining emptiness


in making me crawl

has become my whole body


i stop the player

from discovering my disease


i decide

whether it should be cured

 Cassandra de Alba (she/her) is a poet living in Massachusetts.  Her chapbooks habitats (Horse Less Press, 2016) and ORB (Reality Hands, 2018) are about deer and the moon, respectively, and Ugly/Sad is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press in 2020. She is a co-host at the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge, a poetry reader for IDK Magazine, and an associate editor at Pizza Pi Press. Find her on Twitter @cassandraintroy.