I just washed them

but was that pretend?

Are my hands really clean?

I can feel the germs

they are tangible 

they are crawling


the air has made my hands dirty.


I just flipped the light

but is the switch down all the way?

Could that start a fire?

If I turn it on 

and off and on

and off and on

and push hard 

then everything will be fine. 


I want to sleep

but can I, if my fingers are still tapping?

Will they stop if  I hum a song, and the song ends 

with my fingers, tapping in order,

ending on the first finger?

It's crazy 

but my fingers buzz 

and I panic

and I tap and tap





I stubbed my left toe

but why does my right toe feel wrong?

Why does it want to be stubbed too?

I feel lopsided

I am uneven 

the right side of me is too light

I kick the wall

and crash back into equilibrium.


I think I'm crazy

but do crazy people think they're crazy?

Why is it so hard to resist the compulsions?

I try

and waves of anxiety push me under

I imagine the germs

the fire 

stop the tapping

make myself uneven intentionally 

and sit 


heart racing 

until I'm breathing normally.

And it takes a long time 

but I cannot live forever commanded by compulsions. 


Can I?



This poem is about: 
Guide that inspired this poem: 



I really love your poem. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I couldn't help but laugh. I hope you get over your anxiety, and nice poem!


Thank you! And no worries, I laugh too. :) 

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741