What I’ll Say About OCD
A manifesto engraved on ashtray
beckons—de-fob the monocle and
close-read the iris. Question:
do you think sickness stigma
endures, hardy as butane on a birthday candle?
Forget that you’ve seen me panic-free
gliding wry-bookish, navigating
handshakes with lifeline cable wire.
Interiority, an isinglass suitcase,
jolts of thumbtacks in an ice rink,
keen wallet with Dymphna, mental illness’s
laureate saint. Just because my maladjustment
movie hasn’t been to Cannes doesn’t mean it’s
not multiplex. Near the worst of my OCD, I
officiated a wedding between peroxide and Scope.
Purity the honeymoon, aisle my throat. The divorce
quick as ipecac, but ideation’s a shrill
RSVP. Talking obsessive-compulsive was
simple as sanitizer: phobias and the barracks
they garrisoned. Headspace beveled,
unity wept. Relationships? Have we gotten to my semen
veto? Love stops at bleach—
when has scaffold overtaken waterfall? The triple
X version of this is a bar of soap.
You have the ashtray and fobbed
zeal to thank; words after, etched.
My Handwashing, Explained
If life gives you lemons, render into cleanser.
Leeches, boil the vanity. Lynxes, reformat
your zoo. If sepsis gives you purpose, work
for the CDC. My twenties were bravura:
duets for fixation and support group,
contagions that frazzled like SETI anaphora.
Unproven, they Fahrenheited my derma.
What damage the nerve flimflam?
Pathogens, a steam fugue. If the brain
gives you leopards, atrophy with faucet.
Looking for a leeway, I burrowed through
the citric while my disorder courted sink-
magma. I’m surprised my hands held,
the scald imperatives they received.
Jon Riccio’s chapbook Prodigal Cocktail Umbrella was published by Trainwreck Press. His chapbook Eye, Romanov will soon be published by SurVision Books.