Category: OCD

CHECK

I put my hands on my body to check that I’m here, that I have not been stolen by dreams, by smiling dogs or children laughing

i saw my guts strung out in the trees like a christmas garland, heart and liver and lungs like baubles, something finally broke me down

yet this body under my fingers feels smooth and solid, another in a swamp of sweating beings pressed together like worms in a can, live bait for nightmares

I tear open holes in the flesh to which I’m bound, let some air in on this thing inside me, though perhaps i should just let it drown

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EXCORIATION

what the fuck is wrong with you?
you tear it from your flesh.
does anyone have tobacco
for a cigarette?
clip it out, grab the
end with tweezers and
make sure to get the
white part of the root
what the fuck is wrong with
you? the scabs are starting
to itch again
wash your hands. keep
breathing. deep breaths.
does anyone have
any tobacco for a cigarette?
i quit eating sugar,
i can’t stop once
i start.
fingernails have always worked
best. without the root it is
pointless so don’t just pull
hard, pull right.
take your pill. don’t forget
even though it doesn’t
help much. does anyone
have any tobacco for a
cigarette? keep breathing
remember this you is you
too just as much as the
other one. i remember
i used to pull them out
one by one but now i just
tear it in clumps just
remember without the root
they are worthless.
told you fingers
are the best. what the fuck
is wrong with you? you know
exactly what it’s the same
as it’s always been and the
only one that suffers is
you. hey does anyone
have any tobacco for
a cigarette?

TUESDAY

itches i can’t name
all over this broken
thing all tattered up
and covered in holes
the itch means healing
but i can’t tell the new scars
from the old ones
anymore,
every day i stain something
else with my blood,
the pale gaunt face full
of larvae like a nervous addict,
which i am, and was, and will be,
til sliver by sliver with dirty nails
i tear apart the rest of me and
pick to pieces the remains still
searching for something
anything
of value

UNHINGED 

spit them out, these wasted days and wet-green nights rising up from your esophagus to greet against anyone’s will your
lovers and your sisters and your friends and your parents make them
worry for you but never too much just enough to catch a whiff of the smoldering
human brains on stone tiled floors where
the
cold gets in so easy feel it creeping up the carnage contaminated by the time
it grabs your feet and legs to drag you under
i’m okay, i’m okay — you’re shoveling shouting reaching out to grab hold of whatever’s in reach
creamy rose pink with green sparkles dribbles thick makes you feel
safe watching feel the grip slip this is how we
fight our wars with pink with glitter with ooze like
crying all that bile from your eyes the sticky
worms running playground drills up and down your throat
red rover, red rover, why don’t you come over?
red used to scare you always creeping in or up
more often out
that drip drip down your shaking knees that
seeping out the gashes in your stomach like a watermelon past its prime now just remember– don’t eat the seeds, you can’t afford for anything to grow inside you, and neither can the anything– that environment is uninhabitable
for living things

SINNER

read the back of the
label: it will tell you
your sins for the day
but there will be no
advice for repenting provided. do
it yourself with slimy digits
coughing over the toilet. be
discreet: the sound of a
splintering facade is harsh on
young ears and of course
apart from slim you must
also be strong.

WE STARTED AT DAYBREAK 

three girls who couldn’t be alone: some dirty seething tracks in our family line that crumpled us and hooked us on the backs of conquerers for survival. you say I am a free woman but you wonder when the husband’s coming (as we know those tend to wait just around the corner.) the free woman now in the family and finally I have eyes to see, a life spent hiding my head (despite its size) between the thighs of creature comforts to distract from the very illness of just waking. you say I’m independent but depending can keep a person breathing for a while longer if the tank’s still got juice and the tracks don’t run too deep. only me to rely on: a bottle of iodine and a whole lot of gauze to get me through another night as creature comforts just don’t cut it anymore. time better spent on a threadbare single mattress with a hand in your pants and a distant memory of central heating. look out there, see those mountains? men go trekking there alone and do it fine and well. I’d go but it’s too risky for a woman alone so I’ll just keep to this mattress and cooking for one and wearing my underwear inside out because laundry can’t be done for another two weeks (shower wash on a dime with your feet while standing and hang-dry on a flammable heater.) even the best of laundry machines don’t always get the job done, you can’t erase a bleach stain or pretend you weren’t bleeding. the iron stays with you and so do the scars.