7 Better Endings
1. my mother goes to the beach with her friends
at 17. they get drunk on pisco and cold sea water
and spend the night under stars that shine much brighter
out here. she becomes a pastry chef and an artist
and a mother ten years later but only if she really wants to.
i am never born.
2. my friend never gets in that car. never becomes
a concoction of splintered tree trunk and metal
smashed beyond recognition and bloody, broken limbs.
the baby lives, its tiny fetal heart spluttering for a moment
but then pounding furiously. her brain never forces her
to go back to that day every time she misses a step
and the ground comes flying up to meet her.
3. humanity is struck by a plague that wipes out
the entire population in six gruesome, razor-quick
months. the earth takes a deep breath and prepares
to heal her oceans, her skies, her children. from then on,
there is no more winter. just endless spring and life
bursting out of every crack in abandoned skyscrapers.
4. my favorite word becomes no. i become my own
personal hero. i never go to that dance at 14, or that
party at 19. i kiss all the girls and boys i want.
i never become too-familiar with bruises around my neck
and burnt fingertips and ice-cold rooftops and my vulva
screaming sore and all of my organs sinking like a plane
crash every time i think of men.
5. my little sister grows up believing she is a genius.
a beauty queen. a force so powerful and wildly strong.
she grows up knowing she is worth every fucking drop
of love the world spills out. she becomes a lawyer
or a veterinarian or a mother but only if she really wants to.
she never doubts a single one of her capabilities.
6. eve takes the apple and runs. she tells god that man
is a fucking idiot and he thinks she might be right
about that one. he fills the earth with women,
each generation mightier and more kind hearted than the last.
7. i never flinch. i never stay up and watch the sun roll out
of his massive bed, my eyes burnt crimson. i wake up.
i eat breakfast. i see hundreds of men throughout my day,
watch them look me up and down, each hungrier than the last.
i never flinch.
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, L’Ephemere Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Her first collection is Rainlily (2018).