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1 poem

by Kayleb Rae Candrilli

Kayleb Rae Candrilli is author of What Runs Over with YesYes Books, which was a 2017 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in transgender poetry. Their second collection, All the Gay Saints, won the 2018 Saturnalia Book Contest and is forthcoming in Spring 2020. Candrilli is published or forthcoming in TriQuarterly Review, Cream City Review, Bettering American Poetry, and many others. You can read more here.

Some Thoughts on Luck





superstitious sicilians in the mountains,

all we spoke about 


was mickey mantle and my father’s 

old mafia ties. 


can you imagine 

the rabbit’s feet hung 


round my neck during hunting 

season, the fur 


matted and the nails 

so desperate 


to finally decompose. 

what does it mean


to carry a dead

animal so closely to your heart


in hopes you might 

kill some more. 





when i learned to swallow 

i began to drink


the ocean. so much booze

it might as well 


have been sea salt. drunk and in

a bad love, stevie nicks 


was my only god.

and what is god


besides a superstition,

a belief 


in that which 

will never be proven. 


my inner thigh is tattooed with an effigy 

of a rock star—so holy,


but still proving 

the way liquor can take 


hold of even your skin, 

make it


something you’ve never seen before

and will see every day after.



my father has always hated 

women, though 


he has always needed them. 

what a rich history,


this narrative of misogyny. 

counting fist-falls 


as sheep

is a storied simile. 


finally, i am no longer drunk

or superstitious.


and though i am marked 

by having been so,


i can feel love

now, like my father 

                               never has. 


i am thankful to have been born 

his daughter 


because if i had been born my father’s son, 

forget about it.


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