While reading about selectively breeding
Betta splenden with two alleles

of a recessive gene,
of an evolution, of

any of the alternative forms
of a gene that may

occur at a given locus

such as smooth and wrinkled
seeds in a pea

I wept inconsolably
and longed for the universe

who wouldn’t selectively breed
my autism out of existence

everything that we are
that distinguishes us

from chimps

emerges from
that one-percent difference in DNA

alleles of color and miracles,
in eyes, skin, and the iridescence of scales,

and alleles of neural
development, of the limbic system,

the wondrous music
embedded in our DNA—

the rhythm of the collective unconsciousness
we’ve smoke-and-mirrored out of vision,

the memories that still
echo through us from

those early human beings—
people like you and me;

it is humbling when you see
the challenges they faced

challenges that both intimidate us
and act as stark contrast

as the challenges evolution prepared to pass,
the Great Filter before technology;

people like you and me
overcame the Neanderthals

people like you and me
made it through the Ice Age

so I weep inconsolably
and long for a universe

where autistic people are accepted as
people like you and me, as

these beings
with soaring imagination

then I conceptualize,
visualize and explore

as one of these beings
of our only home, as one of

these beings
with soaring imagination

who eventually flung
themselves and their machines

into interplanetary space



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