When Vesuvius Erupts Again I’ll Cool my Tongue in the Mediterranean (or, I think our bodies are both molten and molting)
After Hernan Bas’s Vesuvius
If an orgasm is always a volcano, every volcano is my name. Lover Boy, when I see you in the bushes, you are the blood I want to swallow; your feathers paint my mouth with Revlon. You call me Cherry Noble when my lipstick flumes up red rock. You laugh when I can't confirm God is a woman simply because I'm not so sure I am. Catholicism is as bankrupt as Blockbuster so us queers are bent on rebranding. And Cover Girl, when my great-grandfather fought on the beaches of Normandy, the bullets thumped fire through the sand. Everyone was walking on broken glass, ash, boney ember. The largest amphibious assault ever recorded, and I think of the geckos I chased in Florida—their feet paddling the white sand. Their tails bouquets of cold blood in my hand. You should know I look nothing like my maternal family. I am Mediterranean, and when I fall in love it’s a magmatic mushroom cloud. I want to tell you every forget-me-not is really a scar so I hope you believe everything I say. An honest disguise isn’t a disguise at all. [End Page 140]
Love poem written for the last swampland (or, global warming makes us fuck desperately)
After Hernan Bas’s The Floridian
the flamingo’s neck as shotgun barrel—yes i’m cocked constant for you. kink sweetly all over my back and know between my legs is twink canyon and nail polish removed. raw is nailing me to our bed. what’s gone is what was never meant to be. so when you say, water flatters the summer, do you mean my sweat smells of turpentine, lily pads, and the end of the earth? when you measure me, wingspan is ruled by tongue, height encompassed by your cardinal throat. directionless, i say go south and imitate flowers in the passenger seat: the shrug of lilacs, the last curtsy of a wild flower coughing up typhoid. if you’re ever fevering, i’ll LL cool J lick my lips around you, because it can be dry in the final june, and there will be no saxophone attending the apocalypse. the reeds are dried blood and cackle when fire comes. you say, i’ll touch you while the world burns. you name my clit cock. you put me in your hands; you trigger pull; you suggest we colt python and free range the day away. [End Page 141]
Kayleb Rae Candrilli is author of What Runs Over, forthcoming from YesYes Books and winner of the Pamet River Prize. They are published or forthcoming in Rattle, Puerto del Sol, Boaat, Booth, Muzzle, Rhino, and others. They hold an MFA from the University of Alabama and now live in Philadelphia with their partner.