Ghost Girl by Wanda Deglane

Little ghost girl, why do you continue on?

You know you’re more phantom than person

nowadays, your bones have unraveled like

frayed yarn. You drag yourself from place to place,

like a wounded dog with a broken leg, whimpering

and baying but then screaming I’m fine when someone

gets too close. Little ghost girl, you’re getting

even paler, even more transparent. Your pain only

grows wilder and wider but it makes it even easier

to see right through you. The people, they look away

when they catch sight of your sallow skin, your pale face,

your dead misery is too cold to be around. It’s easier

to tell ghost stories around fires in the dead of night

than to look one in the face, crumbling and faltering

right before their eyes. Poor ghost girl, you never sleep.

You stay awake to howl at the big dead moon until it

swallows you whole, then rise in the morning to

deep purple mountains making their homes

under your eyes. You tell yourself, I’m at least half-dead,

anyway, and turn sour at the sight of food. Your belly,

it eats itself, and you think of the day it’ll open its frail jaws

and chew away at the rest of you. Ghost girl, I see you.

I love you, ghost girl. I miss the red of your cheeks when

you’d laugh, your church bell of a voice, the songs always

bursting from your ocean tide eyes, the solidity of your

flesh that now flees from my memory. Ghost girl, there’s so

much waiting for you out there. You cannot see it but there’s

better for you than your worn corpse existence.

There’s the sweet smell of cake, the orchids nodding

at the sun out the window. There’s rainy nights and golden

days and radiant twilights in between. There’s dogs with

the softest ears just waiting for you to save their lives.

Waiting to save yours. Ghost girl, stop digging your grave.

Grab onto the walls, you’ve got more substance than you think.

Open your mouth, take hold of your mother, and cry until

there’s no storms left in this side of the world. And tell her,

over and over, I’m alive, I’m alive.

I need help.

I want to survive.

Wanda Deglane

Wanda Deglane

Wanda Deglane is a psychology/family & human development student at Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming on Dodging the Rain, Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She writes to survive. Wanda is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, and lives with her giant family and beloved dog, Princess Leia, in Glendale, Arizona.
Wanda Deglane

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