‘Lean Into It’ by Emily Hunerwadel

— Reneé Bibby

I read Emily Hunerwadel’s first lines and screamed, me too! Every line of her prose-poem sang to a corresponding note in me, to those ineffable, jumbled urges of humanness. Even as Hunerwadel is making the case of how hard it really is to know another person, precisely because we can’t occupy each other’s minds or bodies, she reaches right across that distance to strum the notes that reveal herself and for us, as readers, laying bare the space for us to find connection. And there is connection: from this point forward, I would like to use her poem to explain to everybody, like it was a psychometric online quiz along the lines of the sorting hat that when it comes to parties I am the “some dark owl and slowly shifting into a circling vulture.” I am a “collection of lighters, lucky pennies, and pocket lint.” Hunerwadel images and descriptions are weird, dark, and tilting towards the obscure. But, don’t fret about understanding completely; it’s all synapses, after all, and while the voice may be softest when there’s the most to say, by god, we hear.


ELKE Journal