Recipe to Create Me
take the lone child of bittersweet whalesong and house fires caused by christmas lights.
fill her insides with tree sap. with paper cranes made out of high school detention slips. with cherry-stained baby teeth and light-blurring headache.
where there should be attachment, stuff down rage. and where there should be self-doubt, only more rage.
pickle her heart in a jar and fill the spaces in between with teary-eyed fireflies, frozen forever to sing only in light.
stuff one lung with tiny marshmallows. toss a lit match in there too. shut it tight and don’t mind the smoke.
where there should be a golden-lined soul, give her a forest nymph spirit. give her a fear of the ocean and of tall white men. give her fingers like butter knives that fall just a little too crooked.
coat her with skin translucent as a dream, stretched thin like elastic. glittery. unbreakable.
mold her nose out of Greek goddess marble. steal her eyes from star-pooled lagoons. store her brain in ivy and vanilla ice cream and electric eels.
name her december. name her supermoon. name her god.
wake her up and tell her what a worthless piece of shit she is. tell her she’ll never accomplish anything. watch her stand up at once and prove you wrong.
Thoughts from Outer Space
I write a lot about bodies of water for someone born in a desert’s lungs, for someone who only sees water when the sky decides to be gracious and open its arms.
the truth is, none of us ever learn a goddamn thing.
I’ve been trying to make myself care about who I’ll be after this- but there’s a big difference between caring and actually seeing myself get there. I’ve been winging this life since I was 16 years old like a middle school boy in a play who forgot to learn his lines.
I’m trying so hard to be what everyone needs but they all very clearly need therapists and I haven’t even gotten my bachelor’s so can we hold off on these conversations for a few years?
the thing is, nails on a chalkboard never used to bother me, but these days, the sound makes my skin crawl for surrender. and I was never good with crowds, but I was also never as terrified of them as I am now. what I’m trying to say is, the older I get, the more I regress, the further I recoil into myself. what I’m trying to say is, I’m afraid to meet the person I’m becoming.
I’m either an old woman stuck in the body of a 19 year old or a little girl stuck in the body of a near-adult. either way, this isn’t working. I’m merely wearing the skin of someone who knows what she’s doing.
for years, I would imagine what it would be like if my life were a sitcom on television. at first, I accurately figured no one would watch my life because nothing interesting had happened to me yet. but at 19, I’m imagining my viewers turning off their tv’s because by now it’s too much. people can only handle so much of a girl who makes the same mistakes over and over. a girl who has no structure to her life but still manages to somehow fuck it all up anyway. a girl who spends at least 60% of her screen time crying for a break, for the cameras to cut, for anything. but sometimes, I imagine those viewers still watching, looking forward to thursday nights when my new episodes would air. if I’m feeling especially naive, I’d think they might even be rooting for me.
frizzy hair like muddled daydream,
like a bass guitar strumming soft in another room.
frizzy like thunderstorms perpetually pursuing
my brain. frizzy like vines twisting
in mother nature’s sweetest intimacy, like lightning shock
in monsoon-battered september.
frizzy like the hairs on my head building cities
all their own, like tangled cumulonimbus and
like chocolate waterfalls and misty rainbows rising
honeyed from the spume.
frizzy like fingers getting caught on my skull.
like bubblegum nightmares.
like girls in my class
leaving combs in my desk, snickering,
it looks like you need them. frizzy like a
like the most tender ferocity. frizzy hair like
hundreds of dollars spent on
a mess of mousses and sprays and creams,
smoke spiraling from
dark brown strands, hair fried static straight
frizzy hair like the most fundamental,
most inherent part of me. the endless curls
and waves and tangles that continue growing out of me
frizzy was selected for the Contributor Spotlight.
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.