it is raining ash again- tiny specks of dust
coat my body like fairy-fingered bruises.
I catch them on my tongue, all smoke and screams.
tomorrow we’re red-fleshed and delusional,
in this summer of, remember when we thought
100 degrees was hot? makeshift fans out of
missing child flyers, and people I only knew by
name dropping dead like flies. summer of
sour candy melted in your car, of ants making homes
inside your shoes. I hide from the sun at the bottom
of the pool, from the air sucked clean of all moisture.
I teach my body to make its own sustenance. I drown
over and over again. summer of making friends
with tangled clouds, of becoming nocturnal
and evaporating every time the sun shows his face.
summer of skipped meals, of ribs knuckling but
mosquitos growing fat on my blood, and
the milk-white love bites they leave behind. dead pigeons
litter the streets amid the branches the last storm knocked out.
I cradle their heads, feel for breath until their necks
flop limp in my hand. cruel, fever-dreamed summer. summer
of trauma anniversaries and seatbelt burns, of finding new
reasons to fear your father and new ways to cope.
I take the joint from her lips and my mouth becomes
forest fire, my airways throttled black. summer of
deserts in my skin and water in my lungs.
summer of forgetting what green looks like, what it feels like,
until I sink into photos of hillsides and clovers, and
everything in my veins shivers. summer of monsoons
gathering furious and rust-colored at the foot of the
sky. we stumble outside, blister-kissed faces turned upwards and
slicked with sweat. the air stinks of rain, the plants
shake themselves from their stupor and look for another
reason to live. and we too, raise our hands above our heads,
tongues out and begging.
– Wanda Deglane
Wanda Deglane is a night-blooming desert flower 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) and Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019).