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Poetry of Issue #7        Page 19

OCD is not a disease that bothers;
it is a disease that tortures. --J.J. Keeler

On that Juicy Fruit Friday when the dreamy
but serious Miss Parkhurst gave out sticks of
gum with the geometry test, I lost myself staring
at her. The constant, crippling need to repeatedly
order random numbers & words within my head,
eased. “Why’re you staring, Ted?” she quietly
asked before the entire class. Clutching that rare
untormented moment, I didn’t feel awkward
but stopped staring & shut my eyes. I got a zero--
enjoying a few minutes free of being a hostage
in my own head too much to exhaust wrestling
a hypotenuse. Since the zero was an aberration
at the end of term she tossed it. But what I really
wanted was to hold her tight, lay my pained
head on her shoulder & learn to cry.

*First published in Open Minds Quarterly Vol 20# Issue 2

  Ted Jonathan