Breath & Shadow
A Journal of Disability Culture and LiteratureWinter 2016
The Special Ed Teacher Collects Dead Mice
By Aleph Altman-Mills
She is made of toilet pipe rust.
She is shaped like a snake.
The first thing she did when she crawled out of the bowl is strangle a man and call it a hug.
She buried him in a prestigious cemetery and said she had made it possible for him to fulfill his dreams.
The second thing she did
was wash her hair in cola syrup
and now everyone thinks she is sweet.
She collects dead mice.
Her mouse traps have welcome mats
woven with flowers. She explains:
what is wrong with the mice
is they have too much blood.
She sucks out their blood and calls herself a doctor.
Since she is undead, she made herself a shrine.
She filled it with fossils and x-rays.
When she put a rose next to her photo,
its petals shriveled into scabs.
Its thorns fell out like teeth.
She fed them to the mice.
Sometimes she writes the mice recommendation letters to prestigious scientific experiments.
She pulls a chain at the back of their throats, and they say she is making it possible for them to fulfill their dreams.
Aleph Altman-Mills is an autistic writer who loves rocks and skirts. She has been published in Nailed, Words Dance, and Mobius, among others. She blogs and posts poetry snippets at really-fucking-confused.tumblr.com.