In 2006, the church expelled my queer, my father disappeared, and I started growing a lightbulb in my chest

— featuring lines from childhood journals

Because I played baseball
I chewed gum
through most of the year
like a roll of film.

Which was the year
I spoke entirely in
light. I fell in love with
mirrors but not my

self. I loved how light
could be a world like
a throat. I experimented
with breathlessness. Meaning

I would hold my body
in the bottom sleep
of the bathtub until
I felt a brightness

in my fingers, toes, be
hind my eyes. My small
mouth full of water
like a painting. I spoke

to strangers
on the internet
in rooms where language
crawled through

the roof. I typed
Have you ever seen
the moon up close?
Is there a such thing

as forgiveness? Have
you ever fallen
in love? Not really. We most
ly talked about worlds o

ther than ours, how
bright and sink[?]
their skies must be,
how their children

eat stars for break
fast. The blue glow of
the computer drawing
my face as a lamp

shade. While the year grew up
in a one-bedroom apart

ment. Its walls freckled
and blood yellow like
mucus. In that way it was
a body. I loved to watch

my mother perch on
the tombstone part of
the couch and smoke be
tween the gray curtain and

the window. The headlights
pouring by dotting her
like a map. We lived by
the railroad. Its sound

was beautiful and shall
ow like the world was
ending. Every time I be
lieved it. Yes really. I fell

in love with the sound. Not
because it was god. But be
cause I could describe it.
I wrote: — it sounds like fire

with a trumpet. — it sounds
like the electricity of my

body. — it sounds like everything
being re re reborn.

Tyler Raso (they/them) is a poet, teacher and multimedia artist. Their work is featured or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, POETRY, Salt Hill Journal, The Journal and elsewhere. They are the author of the chapbook In my dreams/I love like an idea, winner of the 2022 Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest. They currently write, teach and study in Bloomington, IN. You can find them on Twitter @spaghettiutopia