By Wanda Deglane
I’ll see your face somewhere out in the world– my skin pale and soft from not enough days in the sun. I’ll watch you walking past with that sure-unsureness and think what a lovely human. I won’t say anything. You’ll take what you need from the earth and go. I’ll imagine later on you’re thinking of me. I’ll dream up our beautiful, cataclysmic future.
I’m sweet enough to introduce to your mother but not pleasant enough to keep me talking over dinner. Soon after she asks me, “How’s school going?” or “What are you studying, again?” I’ll forget all other topics of conversation besides the turmoil in the White House, or the sea turtles misshapen from the plastic rings of some Floridian man’s six-pack. I’ll likely fall silent and smile thinly at your mother as she tries to think of what next to say. She’ll probably tell you she liked me afterward, just to make you feel better. Deep down, a part of her will really want to.
You’ll discover me wide-awake in the middle of the night, fighting off monsters you can’t see. Some mornings, you’ll wake to me finally sleeping, my hair tangled like the nest of a million sparrows. I’ll sleep until deep into the amber afternoon, twitching every so often and murmuring names of people I haven’t met yet. Other mornings, you’ll find me lost at the edge of the bed, eyes far away and leaking hot tears. You’ll jump to my side and put your arms around me, saying “Baby what’s wrong?” and I’ll look at you with true, trembling fear and say, “I think I just remembered the things my mind tried to forget.”
But I’ll take you outside– out of a world where we have to choose between doing something that awakens our souls or making just enough money to survive. I’ll tell you to forget about it all, and see the full-length feature film unfolding above us. We’ll lie down in grass painted with a thin coat of dewdrops, watch as the planet hurtles through space and time and alternate dimensions, and the moon careens into our very soil in an earth-shattering, explosive kiss. Maybe then I’ll hold your hand, squeeze it tight as the stars die all around us, tighter still as we’re engulfed in flame and flower petals that sizzle when they kiss our dying skin.
Wanda Deglane is a psychology/family & human development student at Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming on Dodging the Rain, Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She writes to survive. Wanda is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, and lives with her giant family and beloved dog, Princess Leia, in Glendale, Arizona.