The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
Kayleb Rae Candrilli is the author of All the Gay Saints, winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize and forthcoming in the spring of 2020, and What Runs Over (YesYes Books, 2017), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in transgender poetry. They live in Philadelphia.
After Ocean Vuong’s “Prayer for the Newly Damned”
Dearest Mother, what becomes of the girl
no longer a girl?
The stretch marks from my once breasts
to their new tectonic
flats. But you can always find
hints of what used to be.
Trust me, it is more beautiful