you should be focusing on your breathing. on breathing slowly, on opening your chakras. not in the way that so many yoga instructors do in those classes, and not in the way a therapist has taught you before. this is the way that the guru mukherjee taught you when you were a girl. you can still remember her teaching you, step by step. you still recall how she touched your heart, your head.

you shouldn’t be focusing on the strange memories that you keep waking up with. on how your memories are so filled with it now: the sound of hoofbeats on a path. on the smell of surf filling you over and over again, on the sound of waves crashing. on the feeling that you’re so restless so wanting to be more than what you are.

didn’t you outgrow that feeling? weren’t you settled now, outside the bonds of marriage, outside of an oppressive husband?

you know, logically, you are. you know that you grew up in london and mumbai both. you know that your whole life has been a tug between identity -- the want to be close to girls with ribbons in their hair and the best uniforms, and not wanting to stand out, not wanting to be called a paki that rubbed against the real feelings of being devoted to your body, to this art that pushes you harder and harder.

that’s real. that’s what you know is real.

you know it’s real, yet the week of missing memories seems to have made those dreams worse. the dreams of panting in an armor, on the heat bearing down on your body. the sword is heavy in your hand, the sweat comes trickling down your skin. the woman in front of you is bigger than you, her eyes are sharp, and you know deep in your bones, that you were made for this. made for the sweat, made for the sword in your hand, made to fight like this. made to learn, to train to be the best that you’re able to be.

you understand that you have been taught that there is grace in losing -- and you refuse to lose.

the woman inches forward. you leap.