“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.

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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.