by Tyler Raso
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.
One day I decided to be happy
so I helped my mom move a couch.
I was tall enough to sink into myself,
finally, a sugar cube shape. The new
apartment had windows that didn’t look
at walls like an x-ray. I was an athlete
at the time, so the couch stretched
between us like language. I made
lemonade which my mom said
she was learning to love or like or make
disappear. I’ve never seen my mom
cry, like a sheath. I love the phrase
“means a lot.” I love to hate
the phrase “If I had to say.” Anyway,
my mom cries on the couch with
the plastic on but only for a moment.
I love the phrase “she catches herself.”
She cries in a happy way, she says,
like gift wrap. A contradiction
light bounces off of. I love the phrase “you
shouldn’t have” but only when it’s said
the way fresh cookies change the air
in a room. My mom breathes a crooked
breath at the window. She tips her finger
where the fog gathers on the glass. I can’t
hear her thoughts, which I love. I put something
in the oven. I think it was soft cinnamon pretzels.
But it could have been anything warm. I decided
to forgive myself for this forgetting so I sit
on the couch with my lemonade and
my mom’s lemonade which she calls too sweet
like a movie. I love saying “Oh” to mean
“you’re too much” which means at least
in part “I love you in this moment.”
I love the little circle of water a cold
glass leaves behind.