mantra review

Summer 2018


Ode to Twin Peaks

huddling beneath the stars, we sketch avenues with no wounds that sweep through the pink valley, where
the mountains rattle under snow caps & granite grins rise above the western sky, where we can

see the city gleaming & we talk about the monsters veiled like our fathers coiled up in a beer glass on the
bedside table, like the way the marigolds outside our houses shed & blossom under rainless nights

like this & how we bleed for the constellation slowly becoming itself & forgiving us for this thud in our
chests & the grate of each rib & the wind’s pulse, a soft whisper around our necks like our

grandfathers’ claws, the marrow lingering on our throats, the fingers bending, the peak of dawn dragging
us toward a haven without teeth & in our dreams we’re seventeen again & watching dale

cooper, in a suit as black as a moonless night, while the floorboards creak & we can hear our mothers’
fingers scratching while they sleep


and the smell of steam bouncing off the gardens beneath the shed window stuck to my skin. It was the
summer of lunch at your house everyday, watching you work on lawn mowers in the afternoon and

moonlight as gorgeous as the grease stains on your hands. The aroma was the gasoline on your shoes, it
was driving along the bend of the devil’s elbow road in west virginia, guzzling a coke in the backseat

and gliding my hand through the air outside the rolled-down window. Growing up was the hum of the
cicadas and the way you changed mamaw’s stomach bandage every night while the june storm coiled in

the indent of my back. We laid on our bellies outside in pleated pants, creasing down the knee, and the
stars arranged themselves like marigolds in a roaring meadow, and in the quiet of your backyard we

were two figures the color of clay, painted like stained glass, two holy souls soaking wet in the rain.

Matthew Mitchell is a Midwestern poet pursuing a Creative Writing degree at Hiram College. His work has been published in Lunch Ticket and Cleveland Magazine, and is forthcoming to POND, Tammy, Clockhouse, and The Oakland Arts Review.

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