In Response to People Saying People with Developmental Disabilities Are Perpetual Innocent Children Who Never Lie and Are Always Happy (and This Justifies Our Existence) by Aleph Altman-Mills

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy in

A good disabled girl
smells like play dough and fingerpaint.
She has her behavior chart
tattooed down her legs like fishnet stockings.
Her mouth is shaped like a candy heart.
She loves you.

She is a candy heart: so sweet,
she will ghost away in your mouth,
become just the scum on your tongue
as you talk about how her parents are saints.
She will not object to anything.
Sometimes she cries, but it sounds like
flowers growing. Her tears
never get the floor wet.

She does not get angry.
She used to, and it was A Problem,
but anger’s sharp-toothed puppy got pressed
under the pillows of pills.
Don’t worry about hurting her;
she isn’t mad at you.
She isn’t scared of you either;
she’s not allowed to be.

Aleph photo.jpg

Aleph Altman-Mills is an autistic writer who collects acorns and likes to buy books other people have already written on. She has been published in The Legendary. She blogs and posts poetry snippets at tumblr; poetry prompts are here.