A Poem by Wanda Deglane


it is 2013 and a boy is telling me

he loves me and I’m 14 so how

could I not believe it? he’s loved

five other girls already this year,

but now he loves me and that

makes me special, makes me chosen.

he texts me, you’re so pretty. you have

such soft skin, and my heart has never

known such drunken swelling.

it is 2013 and my first kiss happens

almost by accident. he reaches to

kiss my cheek and I turn too quick

and suddenly I am a tumbled

car wreck of teeth and braces.

he says we need to get better at this

and so we practice- after school and

behind brick walls and at the ends

of dark hallways. I’m imagining

new year’s eve and the final scene

of a rom com. I’m becoming the girl

I always dreamed of.

it is 2013 and he unceremoniously

texts, I wanna fuck you, and my

stomach drops down to my hips and

I try to tell myself this is what butterflies

must feel like, when really it feels like a

thousand cocoons lit on fire, dropping

to the earth to be trampled underfoot,

like cancelled metamorphosis. he waves

a condom in my face and tells me to

get ready, and everything from my hair to

my toes feels green, innocent, childlike.

this is for me and no one else, I say as I crouch

behind the locked bathroom door, shaving

the holy land between my legs. thick black

curls fall to the trash can as I bloom

baby smooth. I may not yet be woman but

I can pretend.

it is 2013 and he becomes too familiar

with all the bras I own. the cream-colored

ones, the ones with ribbons and polka-

dots I bought just for me. he gropes at

my boobs in the middle of lunch, small,

barely budding things they are, and my

friends glance away uncomfortably. reluctant

organs and dried up oceans. I stare down

at my hot pocket and wonder how someone

can so easily take something that is so mine.

it is 2013 and I am learning there are

pieces of me I no longer own. it is 2013

and I am learning to master the art of

being likeable- nodding and smiling and

spreading and giving and giving and giving.

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).