there is a Baskin-Robbins where I left my heart, two miles from the house I grew up in, where my family used to go every Saturday. my father always ordered a waffle cone with strawberry ice cream, my mother something with lots of chocolate. there are tiny holes in the wall from the crush of plaster in a room I once thought I could hope in. there is a heap of photo albums, full to bursting, and there is a part of me that frantically wants to light it on fire. instead I sink to my knees and flip through each one. every photo is measured in in-betweens - this was two days before my mother locked herself in her bedroom, wailing. this was 3 weeks after my father beat her when there was no money. and in all these photos is a girl, a smaller version of me. I want to ask her, why didn’t you call the cops? why didn’t you stop him? why did you just stand there? her forced smile holds too many answers. I want to shake the fear from her eyes, say, don’t be afraid, be angry. be so wildly, feverishly angry, your bones ache from rattling in your skin. but someday I’ll tell her, forgive yourself. it’s not your fault. none of this was ever your fault. and she’s going to look back at me and not believe any of it. there is a space where my heart used to be, where that little girl now lives. she’s weeping- brokenly, finally. unendingly.
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).