Byron is an Aspergian writer from Kansas City, currently campaigning against a sentence of life without parole in Missouri. His work appears in a variety of periodicals, on his blog, and in the books Requiem for a Paper Bag (Simon and Schuster, 2009) and The Moment (HarperCollins, forthcoming in 2011). He expects his memoir about ostracism, institutions, and the dark side of Asperger’s syndrome to find a publisher soon.
The world is many places, least of them ours.
Unless you believe, as I do not,
In fate, hardscrabble romance
And conflicted desire are facts, plain
As this sheet to which I output.
White and black, but not as simple.
We knot our wants at all these
And osculate in pretty what-if skeins.
And that’s us—exactly
What you wrote we’re not—
On composition paper redolent of tea
Spruce for this autist’s brain (which Adores your origami).
None knows the future, knows the heart—
Not enough to override
And tweak the subroutines of reason.
Though we are separate we may still compare notes,
Asperse convention and comb
The decompiled grace of love
For some beauty in its awkward code.
I’ve not flown in twelve years but still
Dream of airports, boarding via umbilical
Halls, gliding through chilly clouds, eating tiny
Bags of nuts they no longer serve.
On older planes, if you are lucky and
Have a window seat, incline your head, rest bone
Microphone to cabin wall and induct the tired oscillation
Turbines aren’t supposed to have;
See the pixilated flatlands, square
As you always knew, or the ceaseless-appearing
Seascape saying, There is so much more.
This is sometimes only visible by air.
Some of us are simply picky, mechanically
Sympathetic. Someone loved once accused me of being
Attuned to all the wrong things. No thoughts
Of her for years, and certainly no dreams.