WWP Poem #19: Dear Earthling

You’d think me rude, but I’d just stand and stare
while grocery store aisles used to jostle together,
every box and can a hungry puzzle piece
looking for its partner;
or the colors on every shirt, sweater, pant, and shoe
in every department store peeled themselves apart from their host
in paint by numbers precision and begged for my eye
to roll call. You’d think me strange,

but I enjoy purple lightning slithering up my arm
while golden damask curled fingers tumble over themselves and
through the caves in the middle of my face journey
to the center of my earth,
behind my eyes,
where secret laboratories conspire in precise unison to
fuck with your sense of normal (or so you think). This happens
every time I pass the perfume counter at Macy’s, and I
don’t dare put an end to the lechery. You’d think me impudent,

but I keep constructing blueprints to rebuild your temples,
your schools, your courthouses, your monasteries,
your libraries. You intersect walls at eighty-nine degree angles
and think that it’s okay, but I see the legs of the corners
vibrating at the knees under the strain and pull them apart
one more degree. I’ve uploaded the plans to my brain
before I come to meet with you: ask me to redraw them
and my eyes will scan the landscape for a set of cellar stairs
to retreat into, to retreat behind my eyes again
to recreate them.

You think that I am the strange one. Last I checked,
I wasn’t born with apologies – though some would demand
that I wear them for the apocalypses in my DNA. I only
tell you about them so that you can
bolt your hands to the rails and not wonder when you become
white-knuckled and gasping after I walk away. I am no
tragedy, only an explosion. I am no
cripple, only a complicated alien walking around with
cultural guidebooks and a universal translator on your planet. And
I am no leper, only a woman without skin. And you
might think that I am masochistic:
but in the end, I like it this way.

Written 9/13/10
© 2010 Nicole Nicholson except the line in italics, which comes from the song “Fireflies” by Owl City. All rights reserved on original material by N. Nicholson.
This poem was written for We Write Poems Prompt #19: Begin with Music. We we instructed to listed to the song “Fireflies” by Owl City on YouTube, and then snag a line from the song to begin our poem. I chose “you’d think it rude, but I’d just stand and stare” and well…another Asperger’s poem popped out. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed the poem.


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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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14 Responses to WWP Poem #19: Dear Earthling

  1. Uma says:

    So beautifully written Nicole, and so powerful.

  2. b_y says:

    I can see traces of my own thought processes in this, Nicole. You’re one step over and a few ahead, but I do recognize the path

  3. Mary says:

    What a journey this poem took me on. I especially appreciated the last stanza. No one should be born with apologies.

  4. Linda says:

    I want to say_ Go girl go_

    loved the audacity of the poem.

    Strong and well crafted poem.


  5. pamela says:

    Nicole a beautifully written piece!
    Quite the journey!

  6. b_y says:

    Perfume counters are, indeed, chemical conspiracies. The light is always cold and it makes the scents peculiar.

  7. Such vivid descriptions. Came alive for me!

    warming up the worms

  8. 1sojournal says:

    An almost wild ride of imagery and movement, layer upon layer. Fascinating as it pulls the reader into another view of the ordinary stuff of life.


  9. Appreciate that voice of an alien enables commentary to critique observations of society’s wellness, faults, hasty construction. Really enjoy how the speaker keeps redesigning blueprints for this-and-that and how well this comparison is with the general chat of humans in a fest of criticism. Adept critique in a poem. Love the line, but I enjoy purple lightening slightering up my arm.

  10. Diane says:

    I agree with Linda in liking the audacity of this poem and with Mary that no one should be born with apologies. I like the strength and voice of this poem very much!

  11. neil reid says:

    Didn’t ask why, but brings first thought, “can Nicole come out to play?” But then, you already are! This poem makes me smile. And that was a lyric line I also thought to use. Glad someone did.

    And just some threads I rather liked, of rich choices to make…

    Hungry puzzle pieces looking for a partner
    constructing blueprints to rebuild your temples… your libraries
    intersect(ing) walls at eighty-nine degree angles
    I wasn’t born with apologies
    I am no tragedy, only an explosion
    I like it this way.

    Thanks Nicole for playing.

  12. wayne says:

    so well done Nicole…thanks for sharing this

  13. Irene says:

    I see, Nicole, your writing is focussed and you are building up a collection of poems on autism spectrum disorder. I think such writing fills a rich niche and open up new pathways to seeing. Good, good.

    I think “You’d think me strange,

    but I enjoy purple lightning slithering up my arm” is cute!

  14. Pingback: Poetry for Autistics Speaking Day « Woman With Asperger's

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