How to Break Up the Band

for & after Yoko Ono

I. first, be a woman. better,
be an artist
and have opinions –
let them untangle
from your throat
like a magician’s trick scarves.

a) wrap the scarves
around every building
in your city
b) wrap the scarves
around every tree
in your forest
c) eat the scarves

II. let the boy in the band
tell his wife your work
is ‘avant-garde bullshit.’
fuck him anyway.
never mention the lyrics
to ‘Run For Your Life.’
instead, talk about:

a) how a marching band
from far away sounds
like a parade of insects in the snow
b) a world of beds,
a pillowed mattress world
covered in stray hair
c) the scarves

III. be older. know more.
know that you know more.
make the kind of music
they play at funerals
for dragonflies and raves
in deserted nurseries.
be the kind of witch
they are always burning,
but do not burn –
become the ocean of your name,
the changeable and untold sea.

a) be the softest ebb.
b) be the strongest wave.


Cassandra de Alba’s work has appeared in Drunken Boat, Illuminati Girl Gang, Electric Cereal, and The Nervous Breakdown, among other publications. She lives in Massachusetts, where she helps edit Maps for Teeth and eats a lot of lobster. Her chapbook habitat is forthcoming from Horse Less Press.