(This is my other “most personal poem ever.” It represents my best effort at the time to fully express what it’s like living with Autism, and all the other psychological foibles I’ve developed through my life experiences.)
I was told I might annoy you
By Cullen McCurdy
confusing you. I’ve talked myself down
a winding of darker corridors,
and metaphor’s failing.
how to explain my reality
when you won’t believe it’s real–or mine?
Algebra hurts me worse than dying.
When we were soapless for a week,
I scalded my hands to purge the germs after wiping,
a little ritual to sanitize my self.
I drive these uneven knuckles into the unyielding concrete
entombing our basement. In the East it’s called Iron Fist training:
in Michigan I guess we call it “You hate your hands, man?”
It’s my anatomy: traumatized bone takes microfractures, broken
bones heal stronger. Does a spirit? Read again and tell me.
I’m fragmented enough
to rebuild myself three times over. You’d have a cardboard cut-out
I snipped of vivid.
For half of six years, (more if you count
the time I spent trying to sleep)
I stole my own thunder and forgot how to feel something besides tired,
and gave my energy to people who took it
like a Smithsonian special in place of the Superbowl.
I never thought my Aspie tumult was a problem
on Earth where Lionfish are a delicacy, and there’s no venom
in my mind, just obsession. I have to know that the Jagdtiger’s Pak 80
slung a 62 pound shell at 950 m/s the way you need to know
there’s purpose in life (what’s mine? I just told you!)
I strove to stifle it when they asked
if I could give them less
but the infinite electric ripple in my grey matter:
that motion is me, it’s Newton’s First Law,
(maybe there’s a universe where it’s not, but that’s none of the ones I live in)
and I’m asking you: please stop
those outside forces.