She learned she was too sensitive

from an early age, told repeatedly

don’t be so sensitive. Today,

she hears it in everyday sounds:

her husband sipping coffee, her son

tapping his fingers. Too sensitive, her

parents explained. She spent her whole

life trying to improve, but ended up

biting her tongue until it bled and swelled.

Ice cubes numbed the pain. Eventually,

that became her answer: the opposite

of sensitive is numb. When the cardiologist

explained her subclavian artery had torn

spontaneously after years of purging,

she heard your body is too sensitive. She

remembered reading about a greenhouse plant

known for its rapid leaf movement. Its

common name is the Sensitive Plant

because its leaves fold inward and droop

when touched. How her parents

would hate such a thing.