Fall 2019 Contest Poetry Winner: Emily Hunerwadel

Peach woman

a half-heartedly blown up pool toy,       I sit here             making contracts with places

and belongings             like sand in a watered afternoon



She admits       it’s softer to treat your heart like a bad knee acting up

to see it like a hand held             over the top of the flashlight



the man on the podcast is saying           the universe is expanding so rapidly

we might rip apart                   And I’m at the mirror,                     analyzing the way it

stretches my skin



She’s saying     the lightning   and being the only tall structure for miles

and I’m saying             the liquid, sexy in its glass

and kudzu like veins in her



julia

I’ve tried drinking jet fuel and melting bomber jackets into my arms I’ve

eaten irises tried burying uranium in my stomach and blowing smoke in

the baby’s face I’ve written bad love poems and cartwheeled to forget

which way’s up stayed awake for days killed an imaginary enemy set my

hair on fire and loved someone I shouldn’t made a mushroom cloud exit

crawling past the river I unburied the family bible and put your medals in

the ground I called after you with the wrong name waved the wrong flag at

90,000 feet I recalibrated the radar played hopscotch with landmines I’ve

radicalized the kitchen knives drowned your dress blues in Tennessee and

rubbed Arlington dirt in my eyes but still


Image by _Alicja_ courtesy of Pixabay under Pixabay License.

About the author

Emily Hunerwadel is the author of the chapbook Professional Crybaby, selected by Kyle Dargan for the Poetry Society of America’s 2017 Chapbook Fellowship. She received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her work has been featured by the Academy of American Poets, the Vassar Review, Quarterly West, The Pinch Journal, and Hold: A Journal, among others. She cohosts and produces the poetry podcast, Spaces (found on poetspaces.org), and she designed and edited the 2019 Cosmonauts Avenue Anthology. Born and raised in the deep south, she currently lives in Western Massachusetts. Find her on Facebook at Emily Hunerwadel, Instagram at e_huney, and Twitter at EHuney.

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