Kayleb Rae Candrilli 


There is a point at which I tire of my own fear


Start with a fence,
               then peer into my chest.

A body has opened here,
               so please travel over

god quickly. God
               is a lake of blood.

The surface is often disturbed and built wholly of concentric circles.


Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth’s empathy.
                                                                                             It just may kill us all.

   A boy built on a hill can never be hidden.
   I know this because I am one.


   When I meet my partner, my partner meets me
   back.                                                            Against the wall
   we kiss and both note that today,   what breaks us
                                                                          is only the sun
                                                                          through the blinds.


Queers are killed
and have always been killed                      in any number
                                                                               of ways. But my partner tells me again and again
                                                                               how they love me, and I know one day I’ll try to die

                                                                               in their arms.  I know this is how     we will win.



My future husband and I make a blood pact to become
the fathers we always needed

Because we want our future
children alive

with the fire
of no abuse

we shake
each other

by the hand and by the body
in a contract that will last

as long as we are living.
We expel from our veins

the blood our fathers
put there—

but it is slow
going, to excavate

all these paternal lines.
In the meantime,

please show us one gentle
father, and perhaps we will believe

such a thing
exists, and that we can become so.

Our imaginary children already make us
do all sorts of things

that we feel proud of. See,
already, less blood,

so gentle.


On Attempting to Clear the Air

I am interested in my lungs
mainly because I have never seen them. 

Their walls must be mud dark by now.
But finally, I regret every cruelty

I have ever done
onto myself.

This new way of loving
my body has made me

weak with pleasure. I am coming
into my own.

In America, the face of ecstasy
earns an R rating and it’s true,

my face is appropriate
                                               for nothing. 

You don’t even have to
look to know. 

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