I close doors in my head,
I plaster over and ignore.
I repeat to myself,
asking how much I can care
without letting that much caring drip in,
colour the entire well.
I know if I let it catch,
if I try to hold onto it or name it
or don’t let it just slither around formless,
then it will solidify, it will catch alight
and it will burn through me
and out of me
and leave me blackened char and ash.
I ignore, I regress,
I distract and contain
because these are my flame stopping doors,
my fire breaks.
I give my mind strategic burnoffs
so to contain unexpected sparks.
I am not cool and brisk because I do not care.
I cultivate ice and calm
in a barely functional attempt
to avoid complete incineration.
I melt down,
fluid and trickle,
the heat of the world contained
in the grooves and flow
of my mind’s protection.
Even then, I feel the bubbling,
hissing screams, boiling slowly,
I close more doors,
turn down the temperature,
slow down time.
I creep desperately delicately around myself,
any movement kindling,
any caring flint,
I retreat into the slowest, coldest corner
and allow myself to freeze solid.