Jack Papanier, Race you to the door (photograph)

At night you keep your head inside the corona
of my past life and you are brave to invite
yourself into such an unsafe house. I lived
so lonely there. In this dream, which is also
my dream, you bleed onto a plywood floor.
When you clean the mess, you splinter
yourself to bits. My mother may or may
not hurt or help the way your blood
falls. You feel the walls walk in
and so you walk out. Escape
to the forest but the forest
is everywhere. The forest is made
of marble. The forest is a séance-
ring of Apollo’s head, Grandpappy’s
grave, gargoyle poised for angry
flight, sundial in the dead of night.
You say, The snow was falling thick.
I could feel your father above me.
You say,
Kayleb, he may have been the snow.


Kayleb Rae Candrilli