you dream it’s five years from now. you’re picking your little sister up from school, walking her down the dark hallway where the older kids used to make out in the shadows. your childhood dog is walking into the nurse’s clinic, his sun-drenched fur gleaming. you could have sworn he died so long ago, you still have his ashes in your living room. but you see him now and it’s all gone: the fog in his eyes, the melon-sized tumors, the shrieks and creaks of his bones. you ask your sister what’s going on, and she says, didn’t you hear? he replaced the old school nurse when she retired. you call out his name but he doesn’t seem to hear. he struggles to open the door with his paws, but makes it inside, and you run after him, peering into his clinic through the window. inside are children of all shapes and ages,seated and wailing. some have limbs missing, or gunshot wounds pit their skin like a hailstorm.others’ skulls are caved in, black-red blood oozing from the fissures, others’ flesh are at various stages of decay. you’re physically ill, a scream is crashing around in your throat. your dog finally sees you, his eyes cloud-soft, his mouth stretching into his droopy, sweet smile.
Wanda Deglane is a capricorn 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 Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda is the author of Rainlily (2018), Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019), and Venus in Bloom (Porkbelly Press, 2019).