P. T. O. K.

I think the day you told me

That the words ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’

Could be applied to my name

Is the day I was truly went crazy.


The day that poems started falling

From the inside of my head like pool water,

And I recognized how I pace

From one end of my apartment to the other.


Back and forth

Back and forth

Back and forth

Back and—


That sounded like a click.

But it wasn’t, there’s no car in the parking space

Backed in along the curb,

So I’m safe for one more minute.


Is the door bolted?

Yes—wait, no, it’s only locked.

I lock everything.

I lock my car twice,


I only wear shoes I can run in,

I don’t wear my hair down, I need to tie it up

Should something go wrong.

I need to see everything.


I can’t make calls to my family,

I don’t think they love me.

Half of them likely forget about me,

But they’re the reason I’m paranoid.


…Am I paranoid?

I don’t really trust the people who say I am.

The day you told me I might have PTSD,

Is the day I knew I was truly crazy


Because something clicked between then and now

Where it’s okay to wear heels

I don’t need to run from anything,

I have you.


I’m okay with being at home with the doors unlocked,

It means you’ll be with me soon.

I’m okay, it’s post-traumatic.

The worst is far behind me.


Need to talk?

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