Credit: Jazzy Colbert and Cia Sephina

2. “Isolating Intrusions”- A collaborative piece about obsessive compulsive disorder.

by Cia Sephina


Purpose: to personify the obsessions and compulsions that those living with OCD experience, so those who do not experience the disorder can better understand its severity, and those who do can be inspired to recover from it.











I’m sorry if I seem detached
or hard to reach as of late.
Come on in. Meet my monster.
It tells me what to do and say.

I clench my jaw, shackle my hands,
to try to keep its voice at bay.
Can’t quite split its thoughts from mine
without sawing my DNA.

Please wash your hands
next time, I implore.
Don’t, with those dirty hands,
touch the handle on my door!

Anyway, the creature crawls into my brain,
crazy as it may seem,
and whispers that it’ll hurt me
if I don’t clean and clean and clean.

It tells me not to play outside
or else I’ll fall on the asphalt.
It tells me not to sing a song
or missing notes would be my fault.

It tells me not to wander nights
or I’ll fall victim to assault.
Its rules protect me day and night,
so now it acts as my default.

Devouring adventures caught.
Plays dead when smallest trouble’s wrought.
I miss holding hands and hugs,
but I stay clean as Monster’s taught.

Human attraction to recklessness
carries danger, as it ought,
but I cannot relate to those
who have never with their monsters fought.

I live fearing mortality,
uncertainty, reality.
Guarding my vitality
has become absurdity!

Logic is illogical
to Monster’s illogical logic.
How can I be surprised by life
if, over my shoulder, I watch it?


I’ll sit on the edge of this dirty fountain
and watch the water ripple,
even though one or two drops
onto me have dribbled.
I long to be
anyone else
who can look away.
Don’t you see
I’m so afraid,
but I do it anyway?
That’s got to be
worth something.
Please tell me it’s
worth something.
Please tell me I’m
worth something
more than the spare pennies
you toss
to get what you want.
When did I crash
into the bottom,
or have I yet?
How deep can I sink
until I’m unreachable?
You don’t let your children hold me
because you don’t know
how long I’ve been sitting,
as the fountain
does my crying for me.
If I were any saltier,
I’d turn green.
I wish I didn’t care
about the stony sludge on
my jeans.
How long do I have to wait
until I look like these people,
How long do I have to stay
until they and I feel the same?


Losing control is 

an ill, intrusive spirit

who swings open doors.

Regrets save a seat

at your table, where she’ll eat,

despite frugal plans.

It seems safe to say 

that, this time, you’ll find a way 

to satisfy her.

But forgive all things

her criticism will sing

with a gaping mouth.

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