mantra review

Summer 2018


Cassiopeia, Oregon

I came there,     to be,

among the witches,     automatically,

came to be,     transformed,     and taken,

among the witches,     thought I’d,

project myself, amongst dim amethyst,

Siskiyou pines,             I was,

two places,

in illusion & engine,

of the price,     in my head,

the first time,         I was real,

the heart is a test,                 of the dream,

in the dream,     I’ll know I don’t,

want to leave,                 why’s that,

your name,     means,

someone,                 expecting fire


I was,     underground myself,

where I have,     a permanent voice,     in the dark,

now write a poem,     with my heart,

locked inside it,     the first time,     I see your want,

is under,         a broken wind chime,

What do I,                 look like?,

I feel,             handsome,     the mirror of you,

you call, my eyes,     slate,     the engine,

of the poem’s,


between lips,

            my body,

becomes one of your,             wild altars


The pines pull,             their sleep,

exist,     no matter,

push into,         my back,         pick,

up a hairbrush,             dip it in,             red ink,

around the others, my clothes,

            are homeless,

            the,     freedom of together


How should I go about,             spreading your names,

across the floor,     of my poems?,

Behind, the garden-house window,

we fog,         the glass,             and the forest,

is gone


What I love for you,

hold it,     across,             our wild continent,

the red face,           of a wild dog,

hungry in the American,   barren,

beautiful Southwest,       light

Wyatt Welch grew up on the interstates after being kidnapped by their Vietnam Vet father. Later, Wyatt earned their MA in Linguistics and African Languages at the University of Florida. Watching the boundaries of Self and the State has been the work of their more recent poetry, alongside other poetic concerns such as living gay-transgender in the United States. Wyatt currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, where they teach at the University of Arizona. Their recent work has appeared in The Metric, The Ocotillo Review, and the Tucson Weekly.

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