The Switch


By Steph, Canada

Audio recording by Brett John

One dark February morning
the switch flicked.
And then it all looked wrong.
Was all I could see.
And there was no going back.
I could see it all
in the
Not the kind that makes the room warm and cozy.
The kind that makes you avoid the mirror.
A tubular fluorescent bulb
Every feature standing out a little harsher, more pointed
making my eyes burn.
Is this how it really looks
or is it just the light?

My skin starts to prick.
Should I be scared?
Heat rising
from my chest to my cheeks.
in this cold
cold light.
Cradling my head
in my arms
atop my desk.

One leads to another
to another.
Academic brain
should come in handy
right about now.
But straight A’s
and I still don’t have a single satisfactory answer.
Just more questions.
Unfortunately for me this isn’t a Socratic dialogue.

If there’s an ON
there must be an OFF.
I just need to find
the switch.
But what if
when I do
it’s broken?

This poem is a reflection on the specific moment I identify as when my “OCD spiral” began. It started with one thought, one what-if question that opened a Pandora’s box of worry. I also talk about this moment in my Wall Post

Categories: The Salon

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