Séance at the Guggenheim
At a museum that spiral staircases into the sky, my first lover’s hand sweats inside of mine. This is where we belong, in the art. Christmas lights are wrapped around a woman who has been dead for years. Japanese men film themselves skating, harnessed and pulleyed, along canvases the size of sizable rooftops. Gutai, they call it.
Closer to the sky, there is a bathroom that’s been turned into an electrical tape installation. I peel some from the walls and line her pockets. I slip into her and feel my fingers burn from the heat. Our hands sweat because they are all wrapped up.
We find a bed, in a backroom, and it’s all chain-linked razor blades. My lover tugs my hand, like she does in Macy’s or JcPenney’s before we tumble onto a bed that’s been made just for show, because we figure, why have a bed if it’s not for lying.
The museum is dark, because in our minds, it is the middle of a new moon night. She leans me back toward the sharp bed, and the pain of being cut to pieces is lovely. I am nothing but myself sinking to the ground—a pile of blood and skin that’s still in love. She joins me beneath, makes a joke in what used to be my ear, whispers we are the boogeywomen.
When the blood of two women mixes it becomes deep
purple séance, maenad sacrifice, raw meat, abalone conch
shell you can hear the ocean in. It looks royal
from far away. When lovers have no bones,
by Kayleb Rae Candrilli
Kayleb Rae Candrilli is a recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award and is author of Water I Won't Touch (Copper Canyon, 2021), All the Gay Saints (Saturnalia 2020), and What Runs Over (YesYes Books, 2017). What Runs Over won the 2016 Pamet River Prize and was a 2017 Lambda Literary finalist for Transgender Poetry and a finalist for the 2018 American Book Fest's best book award in LGBTQ nonfiction. All the Gay Saints was the winner of the 2018 Saturnalia Book Prize, selected by Natalie Diaz. They are published or forthcoming in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets, TriQuarterly, Puerto del Sol, Bettering American Poetry, The Boston Review, and many others.