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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