Alexithymia, dysphoria in female autism
People say fine, busy, tired,
none of which approximate
the sight when I lift the plank of myself
and find it crawling with slaters, rimed
with acrid mould, a bedlam of decomposition
in which nothing can be read.
I drop it down again:
not something I want to touch.
A child, I learned the right word – good –
and said it reflexively, self-checkout saying
please take your items. The word
passes clean through me,
an empty radio wave.
Put words to this babel? I tried
but lost all bearings in the intricacy.
And you were horrified by what you heard, told me
it surely wasn’t that bad.
I need terms
from zoology, neurochemistry, science fiction.
But when at last I glean them,
they mean nothing in small talk.
So I keep doing
what girls are trained to do,
paying attention to line and curve,
painting the same four letters
on the plank’s sunlit top.