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1 poem
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.

Neuroplasticity ode

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.

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