my mother believes in my marriage and this shows me her heart can forgive even years spent dancing alone
BY KAYLEB RAE CANDRILLI
After Hernan Bas’ Leaving the Nest
When I ask my mother to tell me
a story, she tells me of her cold feet
boiled down in a vat of frogs.
She tells me of the way she danced-
romantic with a mop at her wedding
rehearsal. If you ask her, she’ll say
the mop had thick Sicilian curls, more
rhythm than my father, and always took out
the trash. She’ll say I should have thrown
in reverse, killed
the headlights, and hid.
She’ll say you have his hair,
and when your eyes flash red
I see him and a turn
signal onto a back road.
It is true that
I want to spend my life apologizing
for both my body and my anger,
but neither have killed anyone yet.
This is a triumph of blood.
This is a U-Turn. In my family,
moving backward is progress.
In my family, water boils
to ice, and songs sound better
while rewound. When I tell
my mother I’ve met the man
I want to marry she asks
to give me away.