"Everything I Own Is Covered in Yellow Hair" by Wanda Deglane

and I don’t know where it came from or what to make of it. strands

of sunflower, mac ‘n’ cheese yellow make homes in my pillow, in

the ripped sleeve of my sweater, in the furrows of my brain. they say

in an emergency, a crayon will burn for half an hour. imagine: thirty

minutes of firetruck-red panic, pools of white-hot cerulean in piles at

your feet. imagine the kind of desperation it must have taken to start

lighting everything around you on fire and hope it somehow saves you.

I’m finding every minute is a new emergency, new punching dreams

and lung screams. I’m moving through today as if this isn’t all half-

assed motions, as if my mind isn’t still in weeks ago and the rest of me

is begging it to catch up. my brain is pumpkin guts. my brain is a

ledge-jumper, a time traveler. my brain catches the day flickering on and

off every time the sun winks. it’s night now, and an ambulance is crawling

back home, its steady, somber headlights sighing, we didn’t make it in time,

and I’m stumbling back from the window, hurt that I could catch the

world in a moment of such heartsick intimacy. it’s two weeks ago and the

thing I spit up is rust-colored and tongue-numbing. the pills aren’t working.

the out-of-order sign was lost in the uproar. I’m sitting numb in time’s

soundwaves and every somersaulting minute is a new emergency.

everything I own is covered in yellow hair, and I’m lighting every strand

on fire in hopes you smell the smoke and shiver.


"In Which the Poet Is Diagnosed with IBS" by Wanda Deglane

i sit on a table covered in a white paper sheet / swinging my feet back and forth because they’re too short to tap anxiously on the floor / and i say, doc i don’t know what’s wrong with me / i can’t eat i can’t shit / i spend my friday nights curled up in the grimy space between toilet and wall / my intestines burn so bad i can’t move / the doctor scribbles maybe two words / says to me, and when did this all begin / cradle my stomach in my arms and say, 2 weeks ago / that was the last time my ex was seen in my building / ominously posting photos of my front door on snapchat / i hid in my bed for hours watching through blanket cocoon / mace in one hand and lamp-turned-weapon in the other / woke up screaming every night since / i dream of the door shivering in its hinges / my ex staring down at me, face giddy / says, i found you / i own you / just try and crawl away again / and when i wake my skin is bruising and stinging / like it’s happening all over again / doctor says, that’s called irritable bowel syndrome, sweetheart / swivels around to the computer / and my legs stop swinging and my face is hot / it’s been 1 year since i’ve last spoken to my ex / 1 month since he left 10 voicemails on my phone / in which he mastered the art of laughing and terrorizing all at once / and about 30 minutes until i use google to find out the way ptsd grips my intestines in its blistering blade-hands / the doctor prints out the entire wikipedia article on irritable bowel syndrome / hands me all 30 pages and sends me on my way / in my dreams, my ex is folding the papers into knives / in my dreams, he’s the one disemboweling me.