Water I Won't Touch
Author: Kayleb Rae Candrilli
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press (2021)
Both radically tender and desperate for change, Water I Won’t Touch is a life raft and a self-portrait, concerned with the vitality of trans people living in a dangerous and inhospitable landscape. Through the brambles of the Pennsylvania forest to a stretch of the Jersey Shore, in quiet moments and violent memories, Kayleb Rae Candrilli touches the broken earth and examines the whole in its parts. Written during the body’s healing from a double mastectomy―in the wake of addiction and family dysfunction―these ambitious poems put new form to what’s been lost and gained. Candrilli ultimately imagines a joyful, queer future: a garden to harvest, lasting love, the insistent flamboyance of citrus.
“In this still-forming world, the body, in all its triumphs and losses, strangenesses and normalcies, in all the yet to be discovered and joyful states of neither, is fully present and visible.”