this autistic guise

may i stim before you, love? or
must i keep up with my masking? just

asking — should i solely seek to blend? conceal
my fingers’ fairy flits, my mouth’s capacious grin?

or will you see me wholly, love? in my most stimulated
form? uncamouflaged in rawness and wildly unadorned?

when i strip down to straightforward skin, could i cast
this guise aside? or would you rather i perform for

you? keep my tides in hide? play up that
faux allistic she i make-believe to be?

or would you see me unimpeded,
love? see me in my free.

Oakley Ayden


Oakley Ayden (she/her) is an autistic, queer writer and social justice activist with North Carolina roots. She currently lives and works in California’s San Bernardino National Forest with her two daughters.

© 2021