I tell her, nothing ensnares you the way anger does.
The way it consumes you from the inside out with bitter flames,
until before long you peel back your flesh and find you’ve rotted away.
I tell her, I wish I could feel something besides anger.
All my emotions are so huge and terrifying they catch fire
until I’m screaming and punching and crumbling to pieces.
I wish I could stand on top of the planet and scream out my story,
so wherever he runs, everyone knows of the poison he leaves in his wake.
I wish I could fall asleep knowing no woman will ever fall victim to his trap again.
I tell her, I wish the world could chew him whole and spit him back out,
leave him cold, miserable, bitterly alone, so I no longer have
to live knowing the fire he started in me left him unscathed.
But most of all, I tell her, I wish if I ever have to see him again,
he finds me as huge and powerful and beautiful as the oceans,
and the light in me shakes him to his small, wicked core.
I wish I could look him in the eye and see only the suffering I left behind,
the thousands of miles I’ve walked to come this far. I see only the mighty thing
I’ve become, the life that now grows out of me no one could possibly kill.
She says, I wish I knew how to be angry.
There must be so much freedom in cracking open
and spilling forth all the white-hot rage I never let myself feel.
She says, I wish I could come face to face with the man
who ripped me up from the inside, take hold of him and scream fuck you
fuck you fuck you, for hours on end, until he gets a tiny glimpse of what he did to me
I wish I never knew the wicked fear of waking up
in a world where he is out there, knowing no matter where I run
and how hard I fight, he’s still there, watching and waiting to take another piece of me.
She says, I wish I could stop justifying what he did to me
stop telling myself maybe if I wasn’t such a tease,
maybe if I hadn’t pissed him off, maybe maybe maybe.
I wish the world would stop telling me I deserved it,
stop asking me what did you wear how much did you drink.
I was sober and dressed from head to toe but most importantly I never said yes.
I wish I could look him in the eye and tell him what I am
is not yours for the taking. Tell him, I owe you nothing. My body is made
of diamonds and stitched together by heaven and most of all it’s not yours.
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’Ephemere Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda self published her first poetry book, Rainlily, in 2018.