Wanda Deglane

to-do list

●     wake up.

●     take your pills with the half-empty mountain dew in your fridge. the fizz has gone. you can’t taste it anyway.

●     think of the first thing you’ll do as a ghost while you mess up your eyeshadow. 

●     tell yourself to move faster. the clocks have grown tired of waiting for you. everyone you pass can see your mess. everyone you know is perpetually disappointed in you.

●     don’t think of your family.

●     don’t think of your family.

●     remind yourself to eat something today.

●     paintI’m okay onto your tongue, practice saying it every time you breathe. it takes shape, hollow and neon blue in the air. eyebrows knit together. I’m not okay, you try again. but I’m trying.

●     cry in another public bathroom stall. play sudoku on your phone because it distracts your brain from the ache. call a friend and cut yourself off on the first ring. hide for the next hour, until the sobs stop coming. you’re glad for the mirrors, for your sunglasses. for the hand soap that smells vaguely of roses and dreaming.

●     tell yourself to get something to eat.

●     don’t think of your family.

●     don’t think of the people you left behind, the little girl you deserted in the house of leather belts. the dogs gasping for air in the middle of the night.

●     dance circles around face-fallen explanations. I’m not lazy, not selfish. I just can’t move. dance circles until they sound more like excuses.

●     tell yourselfask yourself nicely to eat.

●     tear up every time a stranger looks you in the eye. whisper apologies to no one.

●     fall asleep, twitching and fighting through decade-long dreams. sleep until you can’t recognize the time of year.

●     call a friend and sit face to face with their voicemail inbox. your tongue has given up. the sun has given up. 

●     don’t think of your family.

●     don’t imagine your brother dying. a hundred times, in a hundred different ways. the same song at the same funeral. don’t imagine your brother’s body. his pale hands forever making fists like he fought god on his way out.

●     eat please just fucking eat.

●     think of what you’ll do as a ghost. like replace the flowers in your mother’s vase every time they droop. like write poems on bathroom walls for the next crying girl. like fly into the sun and lace stars into your veins.

●     build a home out of your own grief. there’s horse-sized fish swimming in the walls, holes in the roof. the ground is littered with broken, colored glass.

●     sleep only when the light peeks in through half-covered eyelids.

●     wake up.

●     wake up.

●     please.

Wanda Deglane (she/her) is a night-blooming desert flower 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, Drunk Monkeys, 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).