Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314

Milo Wright
January 12, 1992 – March 19, 2016
Press Fifty-Three

560 N. Trade St, Ste 103
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Milo Wright was a poet, a story teller, and a true original, who struggled with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, social awkwardness, gender fluidity, and a willingness to trust that often backfired. Words were their most loyal friend. Milo, born Allegra, began reading before entering school and writing poetry and stories as soon as they figured out how to form the letters. Their poetry is filled with descriptions of these struggles as well as their amazing ability to forgive, to love people for who they were, to try again, and to hang on to hope. Milo, then going by Charlotte, graduated from Middle College at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. On this campus they found safety, a few friends, and their first writing group. This group helped Milo hone their skills and learn to speak to their audience. Another place where Milo found refuge was Trade Street in Winston-Salem, home to The Arts District that often played the role of muse. Whatever their current name of choice—Milo, Charlotte, Ravi, or Allegra—or whatever stage they were passing through, there was someone or someplace on Trade Street to share a conversation or their latest writing or to simply find inspiration for the next poem or play. During their last year, Milo had begun to assemble their writing with the hope of publication. Their life was cut short by an undetected heart defect. After their death, Milo's mother knew the book had to be completed. She searched computers, notebooks, and files for poems and drawings, adding those to what she had rescued over the years from Milo's trash. The result is this intimate compilation of poetry which spans Allegra/Milo's life.
Photo by Richard Fig Cassidy
Milo Writes 
by Milo Wright
Charlotte Wright
Ravi Wright
Allegra Wright
Cover design by Diana Greene
Milo's parents, Cindy and Grant Wright, have pledged all proceeds from book sales to support the arts in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Buy this
Dear Earthlings,

Care Of/Attention—misguided social media commentators, bus seat hoggers, ignorant board of trustees members, inspiration porn consumers, Big Pharma conspirators, and you shitty parents who stare at me but tell your poor, curious, confused children not to, 
sit down.
Shut up.
Give me a moment of your time. 

It has come to my attention that you have never, ever 
talked to a disabled person before
except to tell us how BRAVE we are 
for not shutting ourselves in the house
or to APOLOGIZE that we 
were BORN this way, or better yet
to spout bullshit you learned 
about us from Google and make suggestions 
on how we ought to live our lives
based off of 
So, Earthlings . . . HELLO. 
I come among you 
in peace. Though I am an odd
malformed creature 
SO unlike you, I mean you no harm. 
I come on behalf 
of my sick and disabled fellows.
Don’t worry. 
I’m used to speaking for ALL of us.
Dear foolish, beautiful, tiresome earthlings
my people see
hear, and 
feel your incrimination 
You look to us for proof 
your life isn’t so bad 
you paste motivational quotes across our faces 
and hang us on your mind’s wall. 
Hey, at least you’re not 
ANYTHING like me! 
Your spine is straight
all four of your limbs work
and your brain is 100% NORMAL. 
Thank GOD, right? You tell us
you could never do 
what we do . . . smile
hold our head high
shop for groceries
and go on dates
God gave us this journey and made us special
because we can handle it . . .
well, until we can’t, but that’s not table conversation, is it?
And yet, despite all of this chatter 
about our bravery, you make our lives 
HARDER. Slam doors in our faces
park in our parking places
sit in our designated seats, and 
verbally berate us when we’re moving too slow
or taking up too much space.
And, Dear Earthlings, I feel no shame in explaining 
what you know about us is prepackaged fluff.
we’re not exaggerating 
OR faking it, so give us the goddamn bus seat 
before our knees collapse.
we need these big scary pills and constant doctor visits 
to survive whether your tarot spreads and old gods 
or Jenny McCarthy or Facebook friends 
or whatever agree or not.
you can’t touch our hands, face, cane, OR wheelchair. 
it is not our bodies or brains that are a curse
it’s a world that won’t put elevators on a college campus 
because it’s historic, a world that tells us to stop whining 
when we’re in pain, a world that is totally fine with a book 
titled Crippled America displayed in Costco
but not with me reclaiming it and throwing it lovingly in their faces.
Which brings me to my final point
Dear Earthlings, there is nothing BAD about our bodies
or our brains. A big scarlet “D” 
was not tramp-stamped on us 
as fetuses.
If your world learned not to fear us
we would not be reminded daily 
of our constant struggle. 
We COULD live in your world comfortably 
if you let us
but NOOOO . . .
Dear Earthlings, I have been called
more times than I can count
but, Dear Earthlings, accept, for now 
I am a part of your planet.
 Dear Earthlings, let me in.
Sincerely, the subject of your stares and whispers
a heroine
an alleged angel
a freak
a curiosity 
a limp in the leg
a convenient permanent limp hand 
your burden.

Milo, a perpetual Impossibility
Waltz with Apollo

As I dance for him
he tells me I am ample
and all is right in the world
and for once I enjoy filling space with
the waves and ripples of my body.
This body, he says, is a perfectly ripe pear 
wrapped in cloud skin and painted with bits 
of blue and red and honey brown.
It is worthy of loving
it is worthy of display
it is a celebration worthy of the gods 
he says with a wry, knowing chuckle.

As I dance, he drinks it in slowly, 
savoring my offering.
I am barefoot, my thighs 
poured into jeggings like twin glasses of milk
whole fat milk
my breasts, as round as farmers market apples
in a lacy red underthing
and my stomach and hips can barely contain themselves.
They loosen to the toasty air
like the evidence of the adequate nourishment they are.
My scars blur with my movement into stretch marks.
He says, call them growing pains

As I dance, suddenly I feel him behind me
swaying my hips from side to side with his harp-player hands
the buttons of my spine line up with the path of his sternum
he nestles his chin in my softened shoulder
and he whispers

“You are crafted from earth
you are art whether you are at movement or at rest
if only you saw what I see of you
you chose me, but I choose you right back . . .”

and then he calls me by the name he chose for me
and when I finally pull myself out of this reverie 
as the phone rings
I feel his words pounded into my heart
pulsing with each pump of vital blood

tonight, as I rub tea tree oil on my scars 
and feel clumsy in my skin, I remember that night
I remember that this dull ache in my thigh 
is just growing pains
that I am a perfectly ripe pear, that I am art
that I am celebration
and he strokes my scars and guides me 
out of the bath
and firmly tells me

“Don’t forget.”