eight months ago, i woke up in the other side of the world, and felt my thoughts slip against ice and splinter up the sides of my palms.
they pull out slowly and painfully, when my fingers tremble and i feel this terrible expansion, the physical pain of my mind moving too quickly and growing too large and vicious for its cages. there’s never any warning, there’s no little man with his right arm held high and his gun waiting to start the races. it’s me sitting in science class and having to leave abruptly to cradle my head in the space where the sides of the bathroom stalls meet, struggling.
it’s me looking at patterns and feeling tears sting at the back of my eyes when i feel their ridges rising up, finding monsters within checkered tiles and having to remind my legs to not lock, keep moving, don’t forget where you are, don’t get lost in the monsters hiding in the tile, don’t look around and forget what it means to have eyes and teeth and all these senses, battering and asking questions we’ve asked a million times before.
she says they’re splinters, and this is nothing more than the moment of fear that comes when tweezers find a twisted shard and squeeze tight. but it’s been eight months and i’m still finding my palms cold and wet.