Kayleb Rae Candrilli


Kayleb Rae Candrilli (?-present) received their BA in English and MA in Creative Writing from Penn State University, their MFA and MLIS from the University of Alabama. Candrilli is the author of What Runs Over. They have served as the nonfiction editor of the Black Warrior Review, a feature editor of NANO Fiction, and the assistant poetry editor for Boaat Press. Source

My partner wants me to write them a poem about Sheryl Crow

but all I want to do is marry them on a beach


that refuses to take itself too seriously.


So much of our lives has been serious.


Over time, I’ve learned that love is most astonishing


when it persists after learning where we come from.


When I bring my partner to my childhood home


it is all bullets and needles and trash bags held


at arm’s length. It is my estranged father’s damp


bed of cardboard and cigar boxes filled


with gauze and tarnished spoons. It is hard


to clean a home, but it is harder to clean


the memory of it. When I was young, my


father would light lavender candles and shoot


up. Now, my partner and I light a fire that will


burn all traces of the family that lived here.


Black plastic smoke curdles up, and loose bullets


discharge in the flames. My partner holds


my hand as gunfire rings through


the birch trees. Though this is almost


beautiful, it is not. And if I’m being honest,


my partner and I spend most of our time


on earth feeding one another citrus fruits


and enough strength to go on. Every morning


I pack them half a grapefruit and some sugar.


And they tell me it’s just sweet enough.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




LGBTQ+ Experience

Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession

Bleeding Title

when the title of a poem acts as the first line


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


a situation that seems to contradict itself


The use of multiple words with the same root in different forms.


the repetition of conjunctions frequently and in close proximity in a sentence

Sensory Detail

words used to invoke the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell)