Not for everybody to know

(artist: Rimel Neffati)

Yes, I say, yes, I am not well

But I search for dead birds and rigged explosives in the streets

I spend entire nights carefully sating my hunger for atonement by mechanically executing compulsions, pulling strings, running my fingers trough the carpet

They call it OCD, I know that it tastes like the blood after brushing your teeth for an hour, like being out of breath after trying to outrun your fears

I swallow another pill, look at the bruises that burst into bloom on my body and pretend that the medicines turned my skin into a cotton meadow harvesting thoughts

Yes, I am well, but

I still keep an old pawn among other treasures in my right drawer. It was given to me by the boy in third grade, before he, too, turned into a roaring monster with razor blades that cut my skin when he spoke

Yes, I may be well, and

I need not the protection of an angel divine, but something fouler than me, one terrifying enough to chase every wicked thought away. He only shows himself in times of absolute despair, when my eyes turn red from crying and the walls of my bedroom crumble, then he weeps with me, kisses my cheek and watches as I drift off to sleep

Yes, I am well, but that’s not for everybody to know

This hurt.
Malicia Frost


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