Nathan Spoon




I enter wondering and asking, What
is a room? As a child
I would roam the yard evenings,
with my brother nearest in age, as we caught,
in our carefully cupped hands, fireflies,

placing them in jars holding grass
and a few twigs. Once done, we carried our jars indoors
and set them on our dresser. We called
our dresser a chest of drawers,
and it was decorated with images

of jungle animals on its sides. How we divided
the drawers then, is a blank in my mind
now. Ours jars, with fireflies inside which we called
lightning bugs, had lids
with airholes punched in them,

and they flickered and glowed once
the lights were out. Magic is a motion
difficult to believe. I have met so many
who subscribe to its alchemical prehensions,
if only in theory. A child drifting to sleep

can be easily forgiven
for believing whatever thing a childish mind
offers up. Although it never did,
I used to want the lion
from one side of our dresser to step fully

into the actual space and air.
If we missed releasing our fireflies later
mom would tell us this was cruel. Nothing
smells worse than opening a jar of desiccated insects
and returning its contents to the earth.



Nathan Spoon is an autistic poet with learning disabilities and the author of the debut collection Doomsday Bunker and the chapbook Fail Better! Feel Great!! His poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry, Poetry Daily, and the anthologies How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope and Sonnets from the American: An Anthology of Poems and Essays. He is editor of Queerly and an ally of

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