Emily Hunerwadel


In dreams

I only see you

through a keyhole

or I find your images

greener on the screen

I see you

like a search

for smooth stones

when you hide behind

stone notches

beloved friend

your threads of personhood

are a full moon in daylight

seen as a peripheral shock

understory friend

when we look at the rain

like it’s happening

to someone else

when life eats its way

through the body

you are New England August

performing its stage play

you are the moon’s

new daylight identity

screen lit friend

when we write

improvising life

when each year

departs as paper

when nostalgia paints us

in brotherhood

when I can’t bear to write you

in the past tense

*This is one of two poems in this issue dedicated to the memory of Sam August. Read Natalie Roll's "A Question for Sam" here.

from otherhood

the thing I know is that I say nomadic but

mean pneumatic I say wild but mean unknowable

I’m meaning to make in your image or I’m

meaning to polish a mirror I say all our invented

children I say love but mean your imagined life

enacted I say errant but meant feral I’m saying

not death, but not this either


like julia I’ve been feral

a few days of pre-existing

condition like June (like air)

I’ve been looking at you, Texas

I’ve been not needing

the particulars the heaviness

of some Friday

I wanted you nervous

braided like a good knot

that helium moment

I might have been a ruiner (like air)

scraping gum off the floor, a poem

I wish you (my heart)

the difference between

star and not I wish I would

write like this I was really dying

Emily Hunerwadel is the author of the chapbook Professional Crybaby, selected by Kyle Dargan for the Poetry Society of America’s 2017 Chapbook Fellowship. Their second chapbook, Peach Woman, will be published in early 2022 by Doublecross Press. They won Columbia Journal’s 2019 Fall Poetry Contest, judged by Monica Sok, and their work has been featured by the Academy of American Poets, Bustle, Fonograf Editions, the Vassar Review, Quarterly West, Burrow Press, The Pinch Journal, Hold: A Journal, Dream Pop Journal, Hot Pink and Windfall Room, among others. Hunerwadel holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Born and raised in the deep south, they work as a book designer and writer in Western Massachusetts.