Here we are, aging together, just like we said we would

By Kayleb Rae Candrilli

For your birthday, we pretend
prehistoric. I fill our apartment

with inflatable dinosaurs, scaly ice
cream cake, and raw meat.

You have always wanted
a birthday just like this:

carbon-dated back
to before humans

decided to chew
all sorts of things. We play pretend

so well you can barely smell the plastic,
or remember anything about outside

and the blood moon that hangs,
wanting to become

a whole new animal
in your eyes.

When I eroded the landscape
of my body,
you drew a fresh map,
topographical and understanding.

When my blood was outside
my body you kept

the carnivores at bay.
This is what we’ve promised

one another, to try and live
and live and live

until the earth caves in.
We have built a home

and the ceiling is so high
everything feels about to echo—

all the things we say
growing older, and quieter, and

drifting further away.


Kayleb Rae Candrilli, “Here we are, aging together, just like we said we would” from Water I Won’t Touch. Copyright © 2021 by Kayleb Rae Candrilli. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, All rights reserved.