i love you, my skin. soft as raspberries, soft as memories, soft as grayest sun at the birth of a new day, growing thicker every minute. my bruises from all the clumsy bumps and stumbles. the scratches from the eager paws of my dogs. the ever-present scar from the day Michael Jackson died. i love you, my hair. my whipping, frizzy frenzy, dry as the phoenix air. forgive me for the years i resented you, the mornings i’d dip you in flames to make you flat as death. i love you my thighs, with the puckered skin, the sweat that glues you together in summer. it is a privilege to peel you from leather seats everywhere i sit. i love you, my belly, with some hair here and there, paler than the rest of me, and always with that layer of blubber no matter how many miles i sprint. how you cushion my organs so sweetly even on days i refuse to eat. i love you, my nose, so huge and mediterranean. i saved up money my whole life to chop you to pieces and i burst into tears every time someone looked at you differently—my longest, closest friend, who would i be without you? i love you, my too-large feet, my too-wide forehead, my crooked, tiny teeth, my dark purple that’s refused to abandon the space beneath my eyes. i love you my skinny legs, my chubby arms, and all the silken plush that is my body: the rounded angles, the hazy lines. every one of my muscles, my bones, my cells, i love you i love you i love you.
our bodies are palaces exploding with electricity
our bodies are marble statues made soft and tender
our bodies are elegant machines that run only on holy water
our bodies are balconies overlooking miles of crystalized sea
our bodies are the soil and the roots and the flowers and the sun
our bodies are bright red homes with porch swings and picket fences
our bodies are mouths that house only the sharpest words
our bodies are made to slice your skin right down the middle with one touch
our bodies are beehives spilling over with sweetest honey and ten thousand knives
our bodies are every mythological, magical creature you ever dreamt up
our bodies are oceans and galaxies and whalesong sounding through space and time
our bodies are stitched together by cloud silk and bleed only pure amethyst
our bodies hold more planets in the tips of our thumbs than in your entire universe
our bodies aren’t made to fit into tiny spaces, but to expand until we’re all you can breathe
our bodies can soften light and cut sound in half
our bodies don’t give a shit about your flaccid penis
our bodies are not here for your fucking games
our bodies aren’t the temples you walk in and piss all over
our bodies don’t tremble under your hand
our bodies don’t fall apart or wither or fade away
our bodies contain no fragile bones, no cowardly cells
our bodies are jewels no earthly money can buy
our bodies are both the art and the artist
our bodies are every urban legend come true
our bodies are the before and after
our bodies are past present and future
our bodies are heaven made real
our bodies are hallelujah
our bodies are pre-eternity
our bodies are where you were born and where you will surely die
our bodies never were and never will be yours
IN MY DEFENSE
first published by Dodging the Rain
Listen, listen. She’s no sad-sop bitch.
She cries because you’re all dead inside,
and she thinks she’s dying, too. She’s no
dumb slut. She’s not waiting for some man
to save her—no princes, no bad boys,
no Jesus. She doesn’t wear low-cut tops
to grab your attention—who even are you?
She wears them because she likes them—
and the way they make her collar bones look,
how smooth her pale skin is, the gentle
curves of her breasts. The point is,
she’s not afraid to like herself. She’s no
dead-end joke. No laughing stock. The parts
of her that are so easy to laugh at are
the pieces of you you hope to god nobody
ever gets the chance to see. She’s no stuck-up,
puffed-up, cocky cunt. Her tongue will stop
lighting fires when you cut it right out of her
mouth—and even then her hands won’t stop moving.
She’s not here to slide past you, to stay small and
unassuming and pretend her mind is dull when
it’s sharp enough to slice your Christmas ham.
She’s no moody, self-serving whore. She’s been
shit on before, wouldn’t you know, and not
sticking around for round two. She’s not in the
business of leaving behind her own dead weight.
She’s no psycho bitch. No lazy brat.
She’s dusty footprints, and accidental phone calls
you hang up quick enough that they never get the buzz.
She’s glass figurines of animals with limbs missing
from a bad tumble. She’s the sweetest party punch,
spiked with a little extra fire. She’s glaciers,
not blazing but gliding smooth, not made up of
red blood, nor skin, nor bone, just ice
and time and time and time.
WANDA DEGLANE is a night-blooming desert flower 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’Éphémère Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda self published her first poetry book, Rainlily, in 2018. Twitter: @wandalizabeth.