They Say Our Cells Are Gradually Replaced Over the Course of Seven Years, by Aleph Altman-Mills

In days I will be completely rebuilt
from the girl I was when I was eight, blood sweet with a different dust,
bones singing in different shades of dig and bury.
But I will still know all she taught me, how to move
like gusts of leaves, how to pretend not to be waiting
for anyone. I know I have unraveled since then,
pulled out some of the fishing stitches in my tongue,
though I know there is still more than enough rope
to lead me back to that throatless staircase. I have been practicing
turning maps into parachutes, closing my eyes
until my trembling swings
like the only clock, and with my mouth wound-wide,
I jump.


Aleph Altman-Mills is an autistic writer who loves skirts and swinging. She has been published in Words Dance, Mobius, and The Legendary, among others. She blogs at

Aleph Altman-Mills

Aleph Altman-Mills


  1. Elizabeth Hykes says:

    Lovely, lovely images, use of language. focus. could almost feel your flight.

  2. Amazing– I identify with this on too many levels, thank u.

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