Cassandra Dallett lives in Oakland, CA. Cassandra is a Pushcart nominee and reads often around the San Francisco Bay Area. She was the winner of the March 2015 Literary Death Match. In addition to six chapbooks, she has published online and in many print magazines and anthologies such as Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, The Bicycle Review, Chiron Review, This Is Poetry: Women of The Small Press. A full-length book of poetry, Wet Reckless was released to good reviews, from Manic D Press May of 2014. A new book Bad Sandy will be released on Dangerous Hair Press in spring of 2015.
Your Whole Entire Name
of his lips
want to say
his entire name
every time he enters
makes me forget you
how far apart our branches grow
but you say
we are not so different
in the things we want
you can only say this because
you don’t know what I want
and in the darkness of my insomnia
I want to feel the way
he grabs my hips
anywhere in the house
pulls my panties down
before we’ve left the dinner table
no cautious lighting same old shallow
in the bed
careful so you can
so you can feel
in the three stroke combo
he can go all night
why should I feel bad
for wanting that
I didn’t make up Viagra
stomach rolls or pattern baldness
I didn’t make up the lies in our heads
the not-good-enough stories
that hold us back
I’m just trying
to stop sucking in my own gut
and keep it real
enough to say
all of us
want to fuck
and by beautiful
I don’t mean model
or slim young muscled
I mean someone
who looks into our eyes
straight down into us
as we are
someone whose touch
makes us beautiful
in the fullness of it
in the lack of fear
a fearful kiss is no kiss at all.
Watching Fast Black
I think of Dwayne Reed, write list poems of lovers-
lovers as in people I hooked up with lovers who never said make love
but were tortured like the love songs we listened to.
Between us color lines, my being underage, and our poverty.
But when the lights went down there was only his hands.
His weedy brown lips, lean chocolate frame,
He was scary quick to slap.
Although he never did, I knew he was a trigger without warning.
That was as close as I have been to love
sleeping with someone so dangerous.
It makes you want the meat of them,
crawl the floor bare-ass and beg for it
whisper Daddy while straddling his bucking frame.
These are the men whose perfection graced auction blocks
the white world still trying to own it, cage it,
while milking it for inspiration
so caught up in the mythology of pimps and blues men,
the mystery behind dark eyes.
Women like me want to be owned by it
feel safer with someone who isn’t afraid of us,
someone who gets our soft spots and that exteriors are just that.
There are words and then there are hands
and sometimes its all too much.
Dwayne lived on the brink
finally fell in
to the nut house
Oh but Dwayne
you really turned me on.
Off The Tracks
It’s a fact there are too many rape poems
or just too much rape or rapey-ness
too much talk of raping boyfriends and punching fiancés
the women who marry them
and I understand those women I do, been there
got my ass beat and the word rape didn’t even come out my mouth
but I was bent over and around and drunkenly pushed down
dick in my mouth cause his friend said it was good, said I would
so drunk I sucked dick in darkened playgrounds more than one
and sober I went to see a boy from the neighborhood
the lights off when I got there in his room
his friend waiting for me
both of them groping me strangely in the dark room
and even though I knew they did it just to tell the fellas outside
I kind of liked the mysterious hungry hands on my body
but I hated the dance and the trickery involved
sometimes I refused them and sometimes I invited them in
even though my aunt yelled at me
cause one time they left their nephew waiting in the dining room
he was bumping around the hallway looking for them
and she said “He knows what you’re doing in there!”
four hands can be better than two
maybe because I realized how scared of me they actually were
when I was close to cumming
their nervous hearts beating fast under my palms
smooth brown chests California Curl greasing my pillow
gold chain medallions hitting my face
and in the end and forever I owned it
no one ran a train on me
they were my train
a chain of men I went through and keep on
when I tire and replace them
men are funny
always standing around in line,
dick in hand waiting for a turn.