‘Word OCD’ Poem Published in Tincture Journal

My poem ‘Word OCD’ was selected for publication in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016.

Word OCD

She collects words in snap-lock packets

so they won’t go stale. Each word

in its individual packet, each word

precious. She runs her fingers over the plastic

and stops; one of the snap-lock seals is half-open.


So she melts some butter in the pan, dips

the word in egg and fries it.


When the butter bubbles the edges crispy,

she turns it onto the plate. Divides the letters up.

‘Don’t play with your words,’ her mother says.

‘Eat it up, go on.’ So she spears a letter,

now yellow-grey with yolk and ink, onto her fork.


It hovers mid-air and she knows that if she takes

a bite, the letter ‘J’ will fishhook-stick in her throat.

Instead she wraps it all up, hides it

in the back of the freezer.

For later.


First published in Tincture Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2016

Word OCD