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Photo by Flickr user Herr Olsen (Creative Commons license).

I wasn’t going to write today. I mean, I’m writing every day in November, my own falling leaves, all bark and rustle, piles to hide in. I mean, I wasn’t going to write publicly today. My body doesn’t want to be upright despite the roots of job, child, deadlines, meals with real vegetables. Felled again. Before I was even upright, I knew the news from a loved one’s text while shutting off my phone’s alarm, guard down blanket: Well, at least it’s over, right? That’s how I found out. It is far from over, there are so many bodies–female, black, brown, differently abled, poor–to lose between now and over. My own body convulses. My therapist says I don’t cry enough–take that. I fold over the bed, sapling in a global warming late fall thunderstorm. Bladder forces me to stand. Legs feel a month unused. Throat is swollen, glands like acorns. Mouth vetoes coffee. Head pounds. I stand in my underwear 20 minutes looking at my clothes, nothing red, nothing wool, freezing and suffocating, no fabric that doesn’t assault my skin. Hair rips in the brush. Laugh out loud when I see my tube of concealer. Burst into tears when my son bounces from bed. Adore him when he wants to snuggle, resent him when he pulls away, guilt guilt guilt, then relief-guilt when I leave him at preschool. Somewhere back there, I drove in the rain. Hands iced to the wheel. Park. Work bathroom. In and out for hours, crying and shitting and tearing at my hair and clothes–arms are too long for these sleeves, legs chopped off at the knees, I don’t remember these jeans, mirror who is in here with me, oh it’s me. Guts twist again. I would vomit but can’t eat. Every woman I make eye contact with weeps. Trees die. No, I remember, they sleep.

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