on traveling together
In a Super 8 just outside Iowa
City, two 12-year-old boys are
cuddled on the lobby couch,
scrolling on their phones.
It is late and they don’t expect
me, or anyone,
in this holy space
they’ve drawn for themselves.
Their parents are asleep
on the third floor, getting ready
for a hockey tournament or some other
It’s clear by the way the boys
jump that their parents know nothing.
breakfast will start soon.
The floor is lava.
The couch they’re on is an island
I’ve been to.
Kayleb Rae Candrilli is author of What Runs Over with YesYes Books, which was a 2017 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in transgender poetry. Their second collection, All the Gay Saints, won the 2018 Saturnalia Book Contest and is forthcoming in spring 2020. Candrilli is published or forthcoming in TriQuarterly Review, Cream City Review, Bettering American Poetry, and many others. You can read more here.
Xiaofu Wang, born in Wuhan, China, works and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA from China Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing (2013) and earned her MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in the LeRoy E Hoffberger School of Painting (2017). Xiaofu is currently a 2018-19 fellow for the fully-funded fellowship Shandaken Paint School in New York City. She has shown her work in New York, Baltimore, Colorado, and Beijing. In 2018, Xiaofu’s work was featured in ArtMaze Magazine and Magazine Parcours. She was awarded residencies at Elsewhere Studio Residency and Art Farm Nebraska.