OCD Poetry Self-Harm

reminders for an undated morning by Cindy Zhou

if your arm brushes the wall once, you have to go back and tap it twice / those are the rules. i’m not sorry / i didn’t make them / it took jesus three days to resurrect / & like him, you live by threes / you don’t care for religion, i know. i made you remember / but i’m not sorry / you did this to yourself / you can’t blame me for all your problems / so says everyone else, and aren’t they always right? / no, they never cared about you / not for a second / they taught you it was right to wage war against your own mind / but maybe the world will be kinder to you / if you make it to the bathroom before the end of the song / if you stack your books at ninety degrees / if the droplet on the right reaches the bottom of the window first / i am only trying to protect you / it’s us against the world, don’t you see? / i am your most loyal companion / it’s what you hate most about me / that i will be here for you always / that i have taken up residence in the scarring on your wrist / that i am not scared of sacrilege, of reverse baptisms / as i force murdergoreunchecked rage into your thoughts and you are helpless to stop it / trust me, i know. i have watched this scene unfold many times / glint of the razor / red sea parting on your arm / you look in, watch yourself drown, & / think yourself healed / if only for a minute.

Cindy Zhou is a neurodivergent student and tea enthusiast from California, where they can generally be found reading, making digital art, and talking to their succulent.