by Kai Pretto, July 9th
How many lifetimes have passed
while I wasn’t paying attention?
The sound of voices I have not heard
in years ricochet through the hallways, catch
around my ankles in my sleep. I awake
with familiar feelings in unfamiliar places, the screech
of tires in the middle of the night. Some days
I am unsure how I ended up
thousands of miles from where I started--
how uncertain, how unpredictable
it all has become. I have sloughed off
the skin of who I used to be, the endless
dust of aging. I am peeling off
the layers until I get to the middle:
at the core center
is the solid metal sphere
no amount of meditation can crack--hovers
and bobs and manifests
in violent tumults
crashing long into the night.
I learned to speak before I knew
what words meant, rolling around the sounds
because they were pleasant in my mouth.
I have become astute
at finding the right ones for every mood, every room--
a catalogue of scripts so complex
they look like conversation.
Can you tell me
what it means when someone says they love you
and then they break your heart? When their mouth
is an empty oh and their eyes are wildfires
you will never put out? When their eyes are vernal pools
full of dead shrimp? When their mouth
is a watchtower, a searchlight, a prison?
I am looking for something
warm and round I can hold
in my hands
and call mine. I am searching for the feel
of winter mornings at seven, everything
so hushed and here I am cradled
inside of what has been found.
Hello friends! I would like to publish writings from myself and other people with autism as snapshots of how autism has affected them, since there are so many misconceptions and confusions about adults with autism.
Some background: I completed a 12 unit certificate program to be able to serve autistic students and am angry at how the program focused only on little boys as autistic and completely left out adults, the trans autistic population, and girls/ femmes/ women autistics. I am currently pursuing a PsyD to do more research on autism and gender.
Please contact me if you would like to add a story! If so, please send me your piece, publish name, title, and an image (can be a picture related to your content, your picture, an autism meme, etc).
I am interested in publishing this collection, because people don't know enough about us (but sure do assume a lot). Also on Facebook!
Lisa Macafee, autistic counselor with a hankering for social justice.