Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Sarah Giragosian: OCD

To survive this exile, you will need

to hold court with the moon, store the memory

of its light in a mason jar for later.

Understand: there’s no field guide for this,

for what you will encounter, for when the sluice

gate of your mind opens, for the whetstone

of your doubts or the homespun loop of Whys?

Even when your mind seems to have nothing left

to plunder, What if, in a certain key,

snags at your heart again. If you could dare

the feral child of time to stop cuffing your wrist

just to drag you down another detour, you might

just make it, but you can’t let go. 

To survive this exile, plan for the times

your thoughts will turn to snapping turtles;

it’s safest to approach from behind. Beware the tail,

the backlash and tango of open possibilities.

Keep close the sprig of secrets that grow

just below your chest pocket. You’ll need poetry

to face this, and metaphors like blinkering flashlights

to pass among your people if you return.

This poem appeared in Bellevue Literary Review's ISSUE 39 READING THE BODY where BLR Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month

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