I imagine Juliet and Snow White would make a beautiful couple and I would watch them kiss without a question (or, being awake makes it much easier to realize yourself)

by KAYLEB RAE CANDRILLI

 


After Hernan Bas’ Hope

Romeo is finally dead. And I wonder, can I love two women together if I no longer
am one? I’ve got a new name and my teeth slide out of my mouth in my dreams—

terra cotta tiles tumbled off my dead grandfather’s roof. To me, baking soda
is toothpaste and drugs. My gums bleed white red froth. To me, gender is killing.

Listen: I want to look at women, keep my gaze undetectable. Someone please
stop me. Lineage: my grandfather gets pulled over drunk, vodka in the cup

holder, cocaine white inside white sock inside boot. Hardly ever a repercussion if you
powder your white man nose to snow, keep your hand on the clutch, keep your breath

hung white in cold air. When I get caught stealing the storeowner lets me keep my pockets
full but calls me a pretty little girl and brushes his fingertips across the nipples that peak

mountainous beneath my shirt. Most things have a price for some people. I would balance my
checkbook if I knew how. When I was young my father called me his daughter

but spoke about women as though I were his son. I remember how heavy his hands
fell when they patted my back. Now my partner dreams they are in a field of waist high hay—

the sky a painful blue. There is no water or ocean or lake but they are still building a life-
boat. And isn’t that the most beautiful thing? To want to survive even your sleep?

Isn’t it terrible to know you must?