inhale/exhale

by
Wanda Deglane

I wake up to the sound of my brother bleating like a pig / my sister gulping grief right behind him / I’m trying to sleep through the afternoon / wake up to quieter suffering / when the moon
ate the sun, my siblings only saw / the lonesomeness dancing circles around the two / while I
watched flower petals bow themselves / into crescent-shaped fingernails / look at these rooms /
all the memories they hold / white walls painted over by yellow that absorbed too much light /
always knew it was trying too hard / these door hinges have seen god / the stain above the bed
frame / doesn’t want to know what birthed it / there’s no mirrors in this house / we just have to
trust there’s no more blood/ nothing trickling from our sides / my brother holds steering wheels like dandelion-blown death wishes / he says existing is courageous / but right now, he feels like a
coward / I say / you’re heroic just for not screaming / I say / you can exhale now / I promise /
sister, if you need me, please scream / brother, I pray this isn’t the last time I see you / in the light
snaking from the crack in your door in the middle of the night / in the car disappearing quiet
around the corner.


Wanda Deglane is a Capricorn from Arizona. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and attends Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming from Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, L’ Ephemere Review, and Yes Poetry, among other lovely places. Wanda is the author of Rainlily (2018), Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019), Venus in Bloom (Porkbelly Press, 2019), and Bittersweet (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019).

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