my heart lets nothing die. even the small wars interrupt my sleep. i wait for people to ask me what’s wrong and then i lie. i stayed home four weekends in a row because i didn’t trust myself to say the right thing. i’m just not the life of the party. i’m trying to live with that. the worst thing that happened to my family happened three years before i was born. i don’t know how to keep answering the same question. i’m impossibly alone. i made myself this way. i stared at someone from a distance to see if they’d ever look my way. they didn’t. they went on with their life and did not know they existed to me at all. i wonder sometimes if my heart will always feel this far from me. i heard someone say something terrible and i counted the ceiling tiles to make the world stop spinning. i considered my body and how it’s changed. i wrote to a person i never had the chance to meet. sometimes i have to stay away from the old photo albums because it just gets too hard. i don’t know how to forgive myself this time around. when people look at me i wonder if they notice the parts of me that are gone for good. they don’t flinch but that means nothing. i still have dreams about a country that forgot about me in its sleep.