Spring Poetry Celebration: “My Partner Wants Me to Write Them A Poem About Sheryl Crow” by Kayleb Rae Candrilli

Happy National Poetry Month from all of us at Copper Canyon Press! Enjoy this poem by Kayleb Rae Candrilli—a poet who writes courageously about love and resilience—from their new book, Water I Won’t Touch. 

On May 5th, join us at a special book launch event featuring Kayleb reading alongside Arthur Sze, Nikki Wallschlaeger, Noah Warren, and Kelli Russell Agodon. You’ll find a link to register below.

Wishing you “citrus fruits / and enough strength to go on.”

My Partner Wants Me to Write Them a Poem About Sheryl Crow
by Kayleb Rae Candrilli

but all I want to do is marry them on a beach 

that refuses to take itself too seriously. 

So much of our lives have been serious. 

Over time, I’ve learned that love is most astonishing 

when it persists after learning where we come from. 

When I bring my partner to my childhood home 

it is all bullets and needles and trash bags held 

at arm’s length. It is my estranged father’s damp 

bed of cardboard and cigar boxes filled 

with gauze and tarnished spoons. It is hard 

to clean a home, but it is harder to clean 

the memory of it. When I was young, my 

father would light lavender candles and shoot

Now, my partner and I light a fire that will   

burn all traces of the family that lived here. 

Black plastic smoke curdles up, and loose bullets 

discharge in the flames. My partner holds 

my hand as gunfire rings through 

the birch trees. Though this is almost 

beautiful, it is not. And while I’m being honest: 

My partner and I spend most of our time 

on Earth feeding one another citrus fruits 

and enough strength to go on. Every morning 

I pack them half a grapefruit and some sugar. 

And they tell me it’s just sweet enough. 

Get the Book

This spring, all the books featured in our National Poetry Month series—including Water I Won’t Touch—are available as gifts when you donate to Copper Canyon Press.  Make your gift of $35 or above using the form below, and receive one or more books from our new season:

  • $35 = choose one book 
  • $50 = choose two books
  • $75 or $100 = choose three books
  • $125 or $150 = receive all five books 

Choose from these new and forthcoming poetry collections:

Thank you!

Launch Party Livestream Spring 2021

Join us Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 5:00pm PT for our spring Launch Party Livestream—an online poetry reading, benefit, and celebration of five new books from our spring season, featuring Kelli Russell Agodon, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Arthur Sze, Nikki Wallschlaeger, and Noah Warren.

Each poet will read from their new collection, and we’ll end the evening with a Q&A and opportunity to support Copper Canyon Press. Registration is free through Zoom, and all are welcome. See you there!