Issue Three


people think i spoke for all those years even correctly, for some of them. 

so how can i explain 

that it is only now i have a voice? 

true, i eked out words here and there 

that were right and true 

paper, journals, signs, word processor, instant messenger, emails, texts… i even spent days in silence – 

perhaps a whiteboard note or two, 

scratch paper for the barista (soy latte, 16 ounces) – 

but i didn’t understand. 

how can i tell you 

whose brain is connected to your mouth 

that my fingers are more sure than my lips? 

and that now that i know myself 

my words are strengthened, more confident, more proud? to me, quieter than i wanted for all those years, 

being able to press play feels like a privilege. 

but what i wish for everyone 

growing up unusual 

is a human right: 

words any way you want them

all the ways you want them 

no explanation necessary 

at all. 

my words my ways 

is a promise to myself 

and a hope for everyone else atypical 

in this world that doesn’t listen. 

may we all have loud hands. 

[The final line is a deliberate reference to ASAN’s “Loud Hands” anthology.]


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