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POETRY / The Poet’s House at 7AM / Wanda Deglane


my sister smooths a jumper over her polo
shirt. it is green and plaid and freshly pressed
and her little fingers shiver from cold. she can’t
get the zipper up, thinks of asking my mother
for help, decides against it. she leaves the zipper 
down, her bedroom flutters with a pink glow. 
someone downstairs is filling a bottle with water, 
the sloshes echoing all through the house. my father 
sleeps. my dog lies on the couch facing the window, 
watching stray cars drive past. she’s not supposed 
to be on the furniture, and she knows this, but she 
does it anyway because who else will watch 
the windows? the doors? the people here trail in 
and out, looking at the floor or cursing the sky. 
my mother is awake, my grandmother gently 
snoring beside her. my mother is awake but she 
doesn’t want to be. she tries to lie down for 
another minute. absorb the day. swallow the bitter 
rage bubbling under every slice of her skin. 
she decides she’s wasting precious time, storms 
out of the room with that fury still swimming in 
her mouth. my father sleeps, alone in that brooding 
room, that california king-sized mattress. someone
downstairs is tentatively opening the back door. 
they smoke a penultimate cigarette, listen to 
the birds screeching hymns at the sun. I have 
been awake for hours. my eyes become people 
and those people are screaming. I bathe in 
early morning silence, no sound but the city 
stretching its jaws in a yawn. and when the house 
wakes up, it anxiously tucks me into bed. but I am 
sitting by the railings like I did as a child, ingesting 
all the howls that escaped from the living room. 
I am in the kitchen cutting my sister’s sandwiches 
the way she likes them. I am on the staircase 
making music with the steps that creak. I am in 
the walls and in the air ducts and in the sewers. 
I am under the carpet and at the bottom of 
the swimming pool. there is whispering, car doors 
opening and slamming shut, and every sound 
chimes against my flesh. my sister is crying 
on her way to school. my father sleeps.

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, L’Ephemere Review, and Yes Poetry, among other lovely places.