SEASON OF BREAKING / SEASON OF BONECHILL
by Wanda Deglane
we are floating down a river of wind and hands.
we are gazing unblinking at the world as it whizzes by,
lit on fire. in this autumn of illness, I am
made of goose flesh and spiraling, half-muted
worry. head colds and fever shakes traveling down
serpentine spine. autumn is a centipede, its hundred
clock hands crawling and sprinting all at once.
autumn of temperatures toe-dipping under 80 degrees.
we pull out our sweaters, our boots, our hearts
to stitch to our sleeves. we learn to shiver and slink
at the same time. autumn of choosing a pumpkin
the exact size and shape of my head, and carving
in it a pretty face. autumn of watching it rot in the shadows
of my bedroom. of waking up to its putrid death.
autumn here is no changing leaves. it is summer’s
long-stretched senescence, its sweat-breeding,
slow-dripping euthanasia. but when autumn
arrives, it stomps its feet. its every word is a sucker punch.
autumn freezes the rage I thought would burn forever
within me, makes it roll useless onto its back and beg.
autumn of mashed potato seas and newly broken
families. we eat meal after meal in every splintered corner
of this home, until our bellies are planets. and inside
them is rare-found euthymia. sweet-toothed, rough-handed
autumn. it tries to nestle our bodies, instead mangles our
bird wings and our jawbones. autumn of softer weather
but intensely low expectations. campaign posters strewn
up and down south side streets, on the lawns of sprawling
houses on central. we whisper to ficus trees and iron
fences. we become more secretive of being human. autumn of
numb minds and grieving bodies. autumn of cold nights
cocooned in blankets, of mornings stretched thinner and
thinner. autumn of waning hopes but peace beginning
to bud in some cavity rooted inside me. autumn of
temperatures nosediving below 50 degrees. we scream at sprinkling
rain. we bury ourselves alive under still-green ground.
we have the insects to keep us warm.
Wanda Deglane is a night-blooming desert flower from Arizona. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and attends Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming from Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, Drunk Monkeys, and Yes Poetry, among other lovely places. Wanda is the author of Rainlily (2018), Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019), Honey-Laced Garbage Dreams (Ghost City Press, 2019), Venus in Bloom (Porkbelly Press, 2019), and Bittersweet (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019).