my fingers are like insects -
twitching flies ready to live
because come nightfall
their bodies will fall
but the night never comes -
there is always light here
unless i’m forced to see
just how disgusted
dawn breaks into starlight
as i am cast into the dark
cage of my body being
forced to bottle
to bottle a supernova
is as foolish as it is
my submission for an autistic community project
i live with Moths in my Head.
they flutter around on dusty wings,
coating my Brain with dirt until that’s
all i see:
a world covered in grime.
nothing’s clean -
i want to shove mothballs
in my Ears,
i want to unleash a colony of bats
in my Skull
until every Moth is reduced
to a bad moment
instead of a bad life.
alas! these Hands of mine are human -
they are useless.
they cannot breach my Bones
to extract wild, immovable pests
so untamed they grow into ravenous beasts;
beasts that consume my:
Words, Will, Esteem, Ego -
until i am left bereft
of who i hoped to be.
but as i lay in stillness
side by side with you,
our bodies mixed up spider webs,
i take note of my Hands
holding you -
and i think perhaps
they are not as useless
as i’d first thought.
i smell the sulfur in my blood
as it drips from my fingernails
onto the ground -
iron returning to iron.
sometimes i think i see
because faces aren’t faces
they’re eyes staring back at me.
i can’t bring myself to look
so i stare at the cracks of their hands -
broken palms moving back and forth
to words i don’t understand.
i see the sky and think of the sea
and wonder if the clouds taste of salt -
but there’s a growing buzz
that sounds like vocal chords being
rubbed against one another
like the shriek of a violin,
so i cast my gaze to my own flesh.
it is beige and soft and strange
and i just want to rip it off
and expand past the atmosphere -
leaving behind calcium and phosphorous.
instead i continue to bite away at myself
and rain red.
yeah, autism makes things hard sometimes
How can one even think to gaze skyward
When it is you upon the horizon?
Why bother with the dull words of songbirds
When your laugh causes their songs to wizen?
Why! A solar flare could only hope to
Compare to a small upturn of your lips;
I should be so lucky to lift the blue
From your warm heart with my fatuous quips.
You’re an ocean’s breath - salty and wild,
And I am nothing more than Springtime air;
How is it you make me feel less mild
With nothing more than a brush of your hair?
I would count my lucky stars for your light,
Instead I count your freckles in my sight.
For someone I love
Ah! Another hero
Washed with bleach
Like the Son,
Who is only holy
When rinsed of his
I wear a white coat
That browns in sunlight -
It appears the moon and I
Will be good friends.
How deep must I scrub
To rid my pores of
The southeast Asian sun;
To wash my hair of Pacific salt?
(Even my mother painted herself
With a European brush).
How can I know myself
When denied the magma
In my blood?
It's of no fault of mine
That I've been stripped
Down to resemble a
Colonial caricature -
I've been taught
Medals are smelt
In white gold,
I've been told
That mixtures separate
And I am mostly
Creme with a dash of coffee.
Us beige babies must be
As if palettes were for paintings
Not people -
My family tree has
Cane fields and apple orchards,
So don't act like
When I mention
White isn't the only
Color of my skin.
Some mixed race angst for you.
As I trace the rise and fall of your back,
I think how lovely you are in morning -
How is it my heart shall beat now it lacks
Night's bold ignorance I am now scorning?
Afraid to touch, my fingers skim your skin
Only to graze unmapped constellations
Composed of small stars made of melanin;
The act gives my heart wild palpitations.
Surely I could put a tack in the sun
To stop its rapid ascent to midday -
I can hardly blink before dawn is done
And you rise and I am full of dismay.
To wake next to you I would face the sight
Of your retreating back in morning light.
I'm a sap.
Oh! There it is!
The blood of my Mothers’
My white sheets
Like a bouquet of English roses.
A shame -
Laundry day had
My thighs have been painted
Like my cheeks
When my gaze
Lingers on my body
Too long in the mirror
As I put on my Sunday dress.
The needles in my
Lower back fill my
****** with blood -
I am a woman now -
And as such I must
Wake before the sun
And wash my sheets
And my body
Before anyone has a chance
To smell the iron and the shame
Between my legs.
I have never been so
Acutely aware of my body:
My sore ******* feel like
Overripe tomatoes ready to burst,
My stomach bloated and taking up
Space I’m told is not ladylike -
My head throbs, my limbs ache, and
I continue to shed my insides.
How is it I never noticed
The cry of my body before?
A week of blood
Before I have served my sentence
For a woman
Who dared to disobey -
I clean the stains
And wash myself
I may come back to this later.