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).