mantra review

Spring 2018



what I’m trying to say is
I’m becoming myself
and every trip to the river
is a regression
that is becoming harder
and harder to wear

I’m asking for space
to be, but when I told my mother
I took my vows of refuge
she just said, “great—
now you’re going to be mad
about me killing the wasps”
and I said, “mom
I’ve always been
mad about you
killing the wasps”
and there it was:

nothing ever changes
despite the importance we place
on these moments

nobody is
despite the warpaint and the mating dances
and the trapper keepers, together
trapped and trapping each other
like rabbits, all of us
canaries with clipped wings

Skylar Alexander is a writer, teacher, and graphic designer living in Iowa City, IA. She serves as the assistant director of the Young Emerging Writers Program at the Midwest Writing Center and as chair of the Iowa Youth Writing Project's Community Advisory Council. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, and Light Industrial Safety, Hobart, PromptPress, Poetry City, USA, and elsewhere. She received her BA in English and Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa.

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