she left her watch by my bed. i found it because i heard it ticking. when she was here, she was holding me and said “i can feel your heartbeat.” my heart beats like thunder, like it’s trying to escape. i was born with a hole in my heart. they peeled back my ribs and lungs and tied it closed. i was in the mountains and i was turning blue and that’s how they knew something was wrong. i have a long scar across my left shoulder blade. it reminds me of miracles and privilege. it reminds me that life is precarious and precious. spring is ticking outside. everything is new green shoots and unfurling. there are petals on every sidewalk. last night i went to dinner with my sisters and the restaurant was full of babies. girls were walking around with bare legs. everyone is so hopeful and yearning. for warmth and the sun. for the long lazy light of summer. my horoscope said, Imagine that you have been relieved of your responsibilities for a given time. What will you do now that you are free to do anything you like? and i just want to be doing this. i want to be sitting in my bed with strong coffee writing about feelings. i want to do homework and apply for jobs and meet my friends for drinks and meet my sisters for dinner and call my mom and go dancing and go for runs and work at the shelter and get breakfast with j. and coffee with d. and lunch with r. and talk about life and love and our futures. i’m here. i’m doing what i want to be doing. i feel like myself most of the time which is maybe all i’ve wanted really. her watch is ticking on my wrist like a heartbeat.