Lisa Folkmire – I am told that I have OCD

Lisa Folkmire

I am told that I have OCD

which isn’t so much
the process of putting things
back in place because nothing
in my life has ever really been
in place but my brain keeps
going back to the same place
so when I tell my doctor my
leaving home time has been
at the ten minute mark
for the past three years because
I have to check the locks,
the dogs, the stove, the coffee pot,
three times in that order until I decide
to leave through the door just
to come back in to check
all cords and then the locks,
the dogs, the stove, the coffee
pot, and she smiles and says OCD
which isn’t what I thought it was
at all I thought I was your basic
anxiety case because I always
check these things to see if
the house will burn down
and I thought OCD would be
more useful would keep me
in line would not result in clothes
piled all over my room but in fact
it’s not useful at all in fact I find
myself just replaying words
until my face turns red
not from saying them but
from thinking them and
rehashing how many times
I ruined situations just by opening
my mouth just by staying
seated just by being in the room
I’m offsetting everything right now
so when they say I have OCD
I want to say then why is nothing
right ever why can’t things go
in the correct place why can’t I just
live quiet, sit back, let life go
around me. Let me sit
and stay and let nothing
bother me ever again
as I replay thoughts
of blackberries on
dirt roads, sweet juices
at summer sunsets,
the woods and how the
light filters trees. Let there
be no sudden movements,
no loud noises, let nobody say
excuse me or could you
please or move. Let my life
be an exoskeleton
to my comfort.


Lisa Folkmire is a poet and legal technical writer from Warren, Michigan. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts where she studied poetry. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Up the Staircase Quarterly, Barren Magazine, Glass, Gravel, and Occulum. She also has work forthcoming in Okay Donkey.

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