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Reasons OCD Makes Me a Jerk

by Chrissy Montelli

Reasons OCD Makes Me a Jerk


     1.  I organize because it makes me feel like I have control

           over my life, or others’.


     2.  I wash my hands—

           I waste so much water.

           I wash my hands.


     3.   If someone buys me kitchenware

           that isn’t dishwasher-safe, I ruin it

           or just send it back.


     4.  I’ll judge you for how thoroughly you scrub.


     5.  I will refuse to do simple tasks

           like flip a lightswitch or open a door

           because my hands are Dirty

           or Not Dirty,

           unless I have a paper towel or tissue

           to serve as a barrier.

           I rely on them too heavily

           & am the enemy of trees everywhere.


     6.  When unloading the washing machine,

           if the clothes hang out, just a little,

           I wash them again.

           I often use too much detergent

           & have to put them through another rinse.


     7.  My apartment is a wreck because I run out

           of energy to clean it all, & then I feel like a fraud.


     8.  I schedule when my partner & I can have sex

           based on how much energy I have to wash the sheets

           & pillows & sanitize the wall behind our bed

           & shower after.

           I have never asked him to use hand sanitizer

           while in bed with me, like I have to others,

           but when our intimacy suffers, I know it is my fault.


     9.  A past lover told me that my sanitizing in bed

           was a turn-off, & I didn’t leave him.


     10. I am afraid that someday, if I give birth,

            I will not hold my newborn.


Chrissy Montelli

Chrissy Montelli is a poet & freelance writer originally from Long Island, New York. An alumna of the UMass Amherst MFA program, she is the author of two chapbooks, Heart Float (Bottlecap Press, 2017) & Going to Ithaca (Ghost City Press, 2017). Her poetry can also be found in Noble / Gas Qtrly, The Adirondack Review, Atrocity Exhibition, Gandy Dancer, & elsewhere. She was once bullied by The Washington Post for blogging about poetry not being dead. Find her online at

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