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).
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