I held my breath all the way back to Paris. I held my breath at the train station. I held my breath in the train and I held my breath in the metro. I held my breath until I typed in the building code, put my key into the lock, and fell out of all my clothes and into the shower. I held it until I finally knew I was alone, safe.
Next, I put my clothes in the washer to let something else take the skid marks off my jeans. I cut the nails I used to claw my way out of violent arms: arms attached to violent hands with its own nails that’d scratch my back when I was tired, a little deeper each night: my back as calloused as rough pavement.