February 14, 2017

If I Called You a Demon Would You Blush

by Kayleb Candrilli

After Hernan Bas’ Mephistopheles, at 17 (the origin of bats)

I wait for tornadoes with my tongue out because that is how you’ve trained me to handle natural disaster and I don’t think you want to hear me speak again. So I say nothing and read somewhere that there is a difference between a twister and a tornado. I read somewhere along your skin that there is a difference between the devil and the devil’s friends. I am the devil’s friend. My tongue has a taste for what burns it out. And since you have never liked light, I crushed all our bulbs in my fists so you would fuck me. You complimented the color of the blood rivering my hands, spoke highly of the writing on the walls of my cunt But in the dark, blood is always just the kind of black bats fly through. Cave. Caved. If I could speak, I’d say: I knew what you were but knelt anyways. I knew what you were but knelt anyways. I knew what you were but begged anyways. And if I weren’t myself I’d conjure a plague of locusts and send them to you in the mail, which is to say, my mouth would take you back in a second. If you weren’t yourself, maybe I’d want to.



Kayleb Rae Candrilli is author of What Runs Over, winner of the 2016 Pamet River Prize and forthcoming with YesYes Books. They also serve as the non-fiction editor of the Black Warrior Review and are published or forthcoming in Rattle, Puerto del Sol, Booth, CutBank, Muzzle, The New Orleans Review, and others. You can read more of their work here.

Photo Credit: Mark Popham