I’ll tell you about the fairies I met when I was seven, how they wore flower petals stitched together by the fur of squirrels and had wings like silk, but weightless, how they drank nectar and licked their minuscule lips afterward, how their little teeth were sharp like the tips of their fingers. I’ll tell you how excited I was to tell my cousins, but they told me, “You saw dragonflies, dummy.” But I’ve chased dragonflies, and even caught some, and they were nothing like the real deal. I’ll keep you entertained with brighter stories of my childhood: like when I kicked my brother’s tooth out on accident, or when I came home from kindergarten one day and told my mother that humans become deaf in outer space, because the teacher told me, “Did you hear a word I said? It’s like you’re in space.”
I’ll tell you I love you how the sun loves the sproutlings down below, how it tries and tries to give them life but on occasion finds itself burning them to crisps. And though I feel for you something fierce and powerful, some days the sight of you will make me sick for no discernible reason, and I’ll bury myself deep into the ground, twining the roots of flowers around and around in my hands as I reevaluate my life, and whether I’m ready and capable yet to maintain human relationships.
Sometimes I’ll become a twister of sorts, and you’ll see spiraling inside of me knives and flames and pieces of old abandoned homes that children of the neighborhood are too spooked to walk by. I’ll scream and cry and throw things and you’ll wring your hands with worry, but don’t be afraid, my love. Sometimes I have to be angry just to be angry. Sometimes I have to be angry because I don’t know how to be anything else.
Some nights you’ll find me curled up on the sofa, tears streaming down my face as I watch videos of polar bears stumbling around the barren, brown tundra, feeble with hunger. And you’ll say something dumb, like, “Do you think they know they’re dying?” And I’ll look at you, hurt, and say, “Of course they do. They’re the ones dying.”
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 is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, and lives with her family and beloved dog, Princess Leia, in Glendale, Arizona.