you are 13 years old and made of fresh cotton- half of you is tied to the sky. the other half only knows how to fall apart. your friends are shoving push pins into their hands during class. they come to school each day wearing more and more horizontal lines on their arms like new bracelets. sometimes they start to spell the beginnings of words. unfinished thoughts. misplaced mourning. you can’t stop your eyes from searching for scars. you’re watching warily each time your friends come too close to railings. a callous teacher tells you, don’t worry. if they jump, all they’ll do is break bones. so you take matters into your own hands, begging them to stop, to apologize to their own limbs. they blink at you like you just don’t understand, and maybe you don’t. one night, you dive your fingers into a lit candle without thinking. you jerk away immediately, shocked at your own brazenness. and tentatively, you try again, letting flame lick hungrily at your fingertips, then your wrists, then all the places grief has touched your body. as the fire slowly dies out, you lean back into bed, drunk on the smell of burning flesh and vanilla, tracing your blisters like new constellations in the dark. you’re whispering, I’m sorry. this isn’t personal
Wanda Deglane is a capricorn from Arizona. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and attends Arizona State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and family & human development. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming from Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, L’Ephemere Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda is the author of Rainlily (2018), Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019), and Venus in Bloom (Porkbelly Press, 2019).