Saturday, February 23, 2013

Annie DeMotta: Fix It. A Poem.

Reprinted with Annie's permission.

Fix it. A Poem.
By Annie DeMotta
Autistic people should
Dismantle disability
We should deconstruct and reconstruct the forces that
Put us into tiny boxes and little rooms
And fill our bodies with electric bolts
And stifle our expression or
Force expression of a certain kind
Because that is all the imagination this system has—
That communication should be terribly invasive and
Violent and vocal
And withdrawing must mean
And taking care of ourselves must look a certain way
Autistic people should insist that autism is our essential history
Our current context
And yet
It does not define us wholly and reductively
Nor are their definitions of autism—
The missing puzzle piece
The suffering mother
The awkward school shooter
The troubled genius
The ticking time bomb—
In any way close to accurate enough
To describe our experience of intensity
Our knowledge
Our identity
Our connection
Our world.
We have traveled
Been in love
Been beaten and defeated
Been to college
Been institutionalized
Been happy
Been broke
Been famous
Been cherished
Been seduced
Been artists, inventors, cashiers, CEO’s, philosophers, mathematicians, homeless,
Been silent
Sometimes never spoken one word
Sometimes can’t stop speaking
We’ve been everything and everywhere
And so autistic people should
Continue on as we always do
As we’re good at doing
And now
In the open
Without apology
We should believe that
It really is this system
And not us
That needs fixing.
Autistic people should fix it.

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