Jill Khoury

pure o

—obsessive compulsive disorder that manifests only with intrusive thoughts, without external compulsions

i am only disappointing myself
i myself am only disappointing
only myself am pointing / at i
am this / i am only dis-
appointing / i appoint myself to dismiss
am i myself in blame only / this self-
appointed pointed i / i feint at me
say self i’m disappointed / i disappoint it’s
what i do / i’m this / my fragile cellophanic membrane
selfish i who is always cleaving to polarities
the point / i have / the one and eternal cellar
i have am / this only / this one i halve
only say it and i’ll disappoint / it points to
self / i dismiss my quaver / i distill and
am pouring / i miss it / i must / i
distribute distance / distort and
cloak myself / i point at this / a distant crescent
a pointed distinction i anoint / i police
the self / oh no / i only meant primordial
to say this / to say one point but this only
only i

chronic lyric: architect

i come home from work and see, o pain,
that you have built

me a dollhouse: brutalist masterpiece
tiny sword suspended above the front door

i built this for us
cement blocks

the size of sugarcubes stacked
and braced with steel pins

even the furniture made
like cubes: cube couch cube

table no soft lines anywhere
a weapon the only decoration

chronic lyric: feeding storm

o pain, that creaking sound
foreshadows a strangler

stage 4 sleep interruption
low libations of serotonin in platelets

we are two shadows holding hands
except you have no hands or shadow

you lay across me like a crust—
dissembling, our easy husk

chronic lyric: corrosion

after my shower you hand me a towel
patterns you’ve embroidered to calm me

i scrub the rust from my locket & hatch
is this corrosion natured or nurtured?

out the bathroom window a vee of geese
pushes south with a splendor i envy

below us in the pebbled driveway
a hyena paces by the front doorstep

o pain, she scents an abundance of gifts

Jill Khoury writes on gender, disability, and embodied identity. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and edits Rogue Agent, a journal that features poetry and art of the body. She has written two chapbooks: Borrowed Bodies and Chance Operations. Her debut full-length collection, Suites for the Modern Dancer, was released from Sundress Publications.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.