dung beetle

it’s 4am and I’m walking to a nearby cvs
to buy a pregnancy test, my music
shivering in my eardrums and my eyes
on the sidewalk because men
are shouting at me and laughing
so instead I watch a group of ants
devour a giant beetle from the inside
out and I’ve never been so jealous
of something half-eaten, its legs
splayed towards the ink-splotch sky
in silent surrender and I feel this
tiny thing like a lentil sprouting teeth
inside me and I’m praying it sinks
fang-deep into my organs, uses
newly-formed fingernails to claw
its name into my womb I’m praying
I meet the same fate as that beetle
and the second I walk into
the pharmacy the woman at
the counter looks at me so pityingly
and I want to tell her I’m not a
death march, I’m a fucking submarine

but instead I shakily hand her a
twenty and when those men start
to leer again outside I scream
can you just fucking shank me and
the ants stop mid-chew to stare.


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, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere. 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).