Two Poems by Wanda Deglane
this is how you learn to live in a woman’s
body / it starts slow, like winter dawn /
more hair here, more hip there / so many
more questions / but discomfort sits heavy
on your tongue / your hair loses its curls /
your face its baby cheeks / your body is
becoming a wasp / more sting in this skin /
your body is becoming a leap year / a spiraling
mountain interstate / a sweet tooth / a
childhood house caught on fire / and what
do you do / with a body you merely stumbled
into? / a body that feels more park bench
than home? / this is how they teach you /
to live in a woman’s body in catholic school /
baggies full of menstrual pads/ and travel-sized
teen spirit / scientific diagrams of / what lives
between your legs / no labia / no clitoris / just
a sterile voice saying / this is the uterus / these are
the tubes / over the sound of / 11 year old boys
snickering / glancing at your shorts / then back up
at you / like they can see through your flesh / your
bones /your fragile girlhood / this is how you
learn to live in a woman’s body / to define your
worth by / how many men you attract /
and how much they can put inside you.
Why I Didn’t Report
Ruthless though he was, some part of me couldn’t
Understand what had gone wrong, perhaps
Because every near-naked experience before him
Ended just like this: my too-convenient silence, my mind
Numb and floating somewhere above me, watching my body
Collapse under those hands that only knew how to take and take
And take. Maybe I’d never known what it meant to be both intimate and comfortable.
Maybe a part of me knew men like him could talk their way out of anything, one
Pretty-placed word and I was crazy, I was liar, I was slut.
Or maybe it was the eyes I feared, disgusted or prodding or
Skeptical, poking the raw of my skin and wordlessly saying, keep your mouth shut.
Wanda Deglane is a capricorn 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), Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019), and Venus in Bloom (Porkbelly Press, 2019).