Table of Contents

 

PERSONALITY INDEX

Tyler Raso

 

I can be sewn shut 
I can be photographed
I can stand
I can tell time
I can weep
I trust my hands
I do not lock at the sight of blood
Altitude is relative
Like memory
Altitude, meaning your head, open
Like a grapevine
Like a search party
Like this
I am looking for something
I know what it is not
I will know when I am warm
I can be trusted in a kitchen
I can speak to children
In 5 years, I will be
When I dream of the end of the world
It is not beautiful but
You are there
Holding your heart
Red and liquid like a sword
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I have always been fascinated by the strange marriage of healing and harm that psychiatry is. "Personality Index" was, in a way, a prequel to a love letter to survival—yet a moment of entanglement with the Little Psychiatrist in all of us, clearing the throat before asking that Little Psychiatrist, politely at first, to leave. The poem is intended as a hesitant rehearsal to the fact that there is a self-regard and self-tenderness—and an openness toward others—that cannot be contained by diagnosis. As for form and sound, I wrote the poem while I was in love with Oliver de la Paz's The Boy in the Labyrinth, which I'd recommend to anybody always.