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Depression does not have object permanence,
Or it would know
That happiness is merely
In time I have found
The memory of your touch has softened,
Your smile but an imprint on my heart.
It has been nearly a year now,
Since you've been gone,
But I am still
Broken open,
Waiting for you.
"You can join our group," he says,
"But only if you look everyone in the eyes."
I freeze.
Surely he is aware by now that the words
Autism Spectrum Disorder
In my chart were not placed there for fun?
Surely he is aware by now that finger twitching, body rocking,
     gaze avoiding
Are not for my frivolous pleasure?
Surely he is aware by now the absurdity of what he asks?
I am autistic.
Burning irritation of the eyes and panic aside,
Staring creepily into another human's eyeballs
Would render group a waste of time, no possibility to listen.
He knows this.
It is his prejudice that keeps him rooted to the spot.
I can feel the weight of his expectations boring into my forehead.
Explaining what it is to ask this of me,
I remind him that drawing this line would be excluding me because
Of my autism.
I tell him he would be losing a valuable participant,
A deep thinker, a creator, an avid listener.
I tell him he would be discriminating,
That I am protected by law.
Oh, no.
He budges not,
For he does not dislike autistic humans
So long as they act like they are Neurotypical,
So long as I pretend to be
Someone I am not.
I cried into the darkness,
Tears dripping on notebook paper,
My reasoning scribbled between calculus,
Roommate snoozing as the clock blinked 1:00.
I pulled myself wearily into bed,
Empty Gatorade and pill bottles littered the floor.
I had not realized
Until after I swallowed
I didn't want to die
You sip on self pity
Now that wine has been vanquished from the house.
Bitter insults leaving your tongue
Like the smell of alcohol on your breath
As you pinned me to the mattress all those nights ago.
You accuse me of being like the rest,
Always leaving you in your worst moments.
Never had I questioned why they left.
You tell me to run,
For you only abuse those you love.
I had thought that your overcritical mind was exaggerating.
I wish I had seen those for what they were,
A warning,
Not some misplaced self hatred.
It is proof of my love that you seek,
The thrill of me chasing you as you degrade and run away
That fuels your affection for me.
You ask me to tell you I love you.
You ask me to assure you I will never leave.
You want me to beg you to stay.
I cannot.
I once loved you.
I am leaving you.
There will be no need when I am done.
Do you ever just feel like you’re dying,
Like a million suns from unknown galaxies
Are crashing into you,
Stealing the space and air from your lungs,
Colliding with your heart,
Until what’s left of your soul detaches from your body?

Do you ever just feel like even starlight
Cannot keep the hope awake in your chest
And you yearn for the precipice that is the night sky
To swallow your whole?

Do you ever just think to yourself
That only monsters live inside you
And you are doomed to forever repeat
Your mistakes on time lapse
With despair in your bones?

Do you ever feel like there is no soul alive
Who is want for what you have to offer,
That the madness within is your only gift
But no one dares to receive?

I do.
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