Obsessions of another kind, compulsions from a different mind

*Trigger Warning for Emetophobia*

The chalk cuts into the blackboard
Word after word, she explains
I don’t get it; I try, I promise but
It’s too much of a task to string a sentence together

I look around
What if somebody starts feeling sick?
Three seats on my left- she hunches and her head
Falls gently on to the table;

The teacher coughs
What if something is bothering her throat?
Or even worse, her stomach
The bathroom is downstairs, it’s too far

She plays a video
What if it features a character
Who has drunk too much, or eaten too fast?
He might not feel too well after that; will they film it?

A knot in my chest presses against my abdomen
What if I did not eat enough for breakfast?
Or perhaps I have had unsettling food
And I may not be able to keep it all down

Ten minutes have passed
What if it happens any moment?
Nausea has taken over me
And three of my fingers are bleeding.

©Isha Malaviya.

 

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