“Pooling” by Émilie Kneifel

he howls at the empty tree full of leaves. she dreams she sinks in the deep end twice. too weak Too weak to walk up the stairs.


her echo-green arms trail her as i do, as light wobbles the trees as a great wealth reflected. her certain neck steadies her bobbing away, from us and toward the well’s sinking floor. the dog and i sob with our overturned mouths. that— is my own hairline clutching her bun. that— is the person i lost for forever. he scrabbles at the edge of the pool of himself, barks stop- don’t- stay- but i just watch, i stop-stay, trace her out with my shrinking throat gulps, knowing i will never catch it, that-there, the edge of the ebb of her glow.

émilie kneifel is sick and so is their mother. if everyone’s a critic, em is everyone at Adroit, PRISM International, Exclaim!, Bearded Magazine, The Puritan, Cult MTL, and Wax Museum, and everyone’s poems-etc skim in Bad Nudes, Canthius, Tiny Essays, and Theta Wave.

Photo by Carlos.