February 5, 2023

Covid OCD

by Jacqueline Jules

 Can I touch the mail
which came two days ago?

 Or the knob I turned
after handling the box
on the doorstep?

 Did I wash my hands
for a full twenty seconds
or only fifteen?

 Should I clean that counter again?
Or the floor where I walked
after taking out the trash?

 No surface is safe
when no one knows
how long the virus will last.

 And I won’t survive
this crisis or any other
if I must have certainty
in a world I cannot disinfect.