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When You Say I Don't Look Autistic

You tell me I “don’t look autistic”
as though I’ve won a prize
When really you make it harder
For me to let go of all the lies

My pretense is successful
I can almost even “pass”
If you could see behind the curtain
You might understand the farce

My normalcy is faked
A cunning rehearsed role
It binds me and constrains me
Stealing pieces of my soul

I must be “mild” you tell me
I don’t rock or flap or twirl
My stims are much more subtle
An elastic that I curl

“High functioning, right?” you ask me
As if you know what that might mean
It means I struggle on in silence
Hide my worries away, unseen

I don’t look autistic, you promise
Little comfort that provides
Because no matter how well I hide it
I’m autistic on the inside.

Getty image by M. Gucci.