i was given a succulent in the 2nd week of uni. it was small, green, young like me. it was already flourishing unlike me. i overwatered it in the beginning, too flushed, too eager to take care of someone else. my first month living alone. i knocked it over 1 night. half of its leaves came off after a careless nudge. it was exam season. now i stare at it, thinking. does it embody me? the rot inside me? half the leaves missing, a fifth growing a sick green? is that my portrait of dorian gray? i dare not water it. i dare not touch it. my own portrait shut away. it is now 1 day from semester 2. will i survive?