reading stories about characters whom i know well enough to precisely trace the lines on their palms in an empty room. i spent the second half of the summer reading treatises on the human mind, & now every time i read a scholarly paper my brain sees green light and whispers mama loves you. whispers terrify me. every single story i read about a mind flung down the wringer speaks quietly. softly. loss touches me softly. sunlight spills through the blinds on my forearms and sets at work promptly. i sleep in the afternoons because i’m scared of the quiet & the sun makes me sleepy as fuck. i have too much noise in my head. i listen to the rain when i study when papa is pattering in the kitchen making panner bhujhi on sunday evenings. i flinch when people raise their voice. i flinch when men i don’t know walk into the room on wednesdays. & thursdays. sometimes, when i’m feeling extra peppery, on sundays too. there are too many ways to break a human mind & not enough to put it back together. i think of a jigsaw puzzle i used to play with my cousin when i was 13 where every time you can put the pieces back together again differently. over & over & over you solve the puzzle. who are you when the puzzle ends? which faces do you see when the puzzle ends? trauma is a white wolf. i thought of jamie lannister in the shower today. amputated lacking purpose witless in love with his sister jamie lannister who would have been a fragile boy with wide eyes who lost his arm and his will with one slash of the knife. i dream of knives & people holding knives & people i love stabbing other people i love with knives. some afternoons i’m scared of my mind. so i sleep. trauma is a white wolf. i keep finding blood on snow. i love playing in the snow. neville grew up an orphan with parents who were still alive. harry could have had a family. harry could have had a family. there are so many sad eyes in the world. there are too many good people who lose everything. i’m happy reading stories about james & lily in love because i know what’s coming. we know what’s coming. harry could have had a family if only peter hadn’t been terrified out of his fucking mind. we are too scared. we are too brave. loss touches me softly like lightning caresses green leaves. autumn arrives outside white walls. more & more now i yearn for the open skies. i dance as i sweep. i write love songs as i cook. the kitchen is a memory of home. my memories are happier than my dreams. i call my friends. i sleep more. i build a snowman.