Tyler Raso


Julia Bethan

I look inside my mouth

                                                     After C.D. Wright

Tyler Raso

I see teeth

                              I see a singular O
                              like an umbrella

I see walls

I see a panic of ruins

I see rain

                              I see the word thrum

                                                                               I see a bird
                                                                               no two
                                                                               no one

                              which for years I heard
                              as from

                                                                                                                               I see a kid with
                                                                                                                               bloodied knees
                                                                                                                               and a box

                                                                               the bird is

                                                                                                                               a box full of
                                                                                                                               playing cards and
                                                                                                                               stinkbugs and

                                                                               a cardinal a
                                                                               tongue a carry

                              as in my heart
                              froms for you
                              like a pet or
                              a void

                                                                                                                               the kid furrows their
                                                                                                                               lip where their tooth
                                                                                                                               used to be

                              the kid reads
                              their body
                              for O’s to
                              thrum through

                                                                                                                               they are stitching shut
                                                                                                                               their ears ring with
                                                                                                                               winter they watch
                                                                                                                               their father wash
                                                                                                                               his hands the sink
                                                                                                                               made wide with red

                                                                               the cardinal is known
                                                                               to defend its territory
                                                                               against its own

                              the kid is in the car
                              with their mother
                              the windows are down
                              like O prophecy
                              the highway stretches
                              into a breath

                                                                                                                               the kid is in the car alone
                                                                                                                               they do this thing with
                                                                                                                               their palm

                                                                               where they press it
                                                                               with their other thumb
                                                                               until it goes

                              numb like a                           mirror

                                                                                                                               now they touch their face
                                                                                                                               their neck their chest

                              they rest its weight
                              where their heartbeat
                              won’t etch it awake

                                                                               it’s nothing

                                                                                                                               it feels like someone else
                                                                                                                               is there

Tyler Raso is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Indiana University, where they currently act as Nonfiction Editor of the Indiana Review. Their work is featured or forthcoming in DIAGRAM, RHINO Poetry, The Journal, Salt Hill Journal, The London Magazine, A Velvet Giant, and elsewhere. You can find them on Twitter @spaghettiutopia.