Poetry

Me and OCD
- Meygan Cox

Flick the light switch
one two three four five
one two three four five
Deep breath in and out
In and out
Shut eyes
I try to think of the last time I was “normal”.

Lock the door, check again
Lock the door, check again
They laugh, not in a mean way, and say, “You just checked!”

I know that I know I checked, but I do it anyway
because my brain is an electric current about to meet water.
Besides, if I don’t, someone I love may die

Lie down just to get back up
Is the stove off?
Touch the knobs—off off off off off
Again.
Touch the knobs—off off off off off

“Come to bed”, he pleads.
I desperately want to, especially since I know what is awaiting,
but I can’t.

I. Just. Can’t.

I’m late to work because I had to ensure I unplugged the curling iron,
but I can’t tell them that because my hair is in a ponytail and I didn’t even use a curling iron that morning.

So, I shrug and say I can’t believe traffic was bad—again.
My brain hurts and it isn’t even 8am.

Tears stream down my face as I remind myself that it’s OK,
just go to bed, go to work, go to school, just go anywhere.

But I’m stuck and I’ll remain stuck until I hear the perfect click, “feel” the perfect touch, or until my brain can’t handle anymore.

On the outside I’m happy, bubbly me.
On the inside I’m suffering, pleading, shouting for someone to help me as I repeat
one two three four five, one two three four five.

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Meygan Cox lives in Bristol, Tennessee. Her work has been published in Picaroon Poetry, Current Accounts, Awakened Voices, New York Literary Journal, and Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing