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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 13: May 2022
Prose Poem: 166 words
By Jozie Konczal

The First Sense


Perhaps it is water that first wrote itself upon my mind and skin. Waves tug, beg to displace, match me in desire for the taking and the leaving. Or maybe I am confusing the cool of the ocean with the chill of the metal washtub against my legs, forgetting until I remember the wet dog hair beneath my hands, between my soapy fingers. Living is nothing more or less than the onslaught of sensation. Once, my baby brother took seat in a fire ant mound. He doesn’t remember the crawling fire, only the welts that came after and tarnished his skin. Sensation, real or imagined, becomes hard to forget. The difference between a grasshopper and a locust is nothing more than touch. Each husk too well learns another and renders storm. Crops meant to last the winter consumed as if by fire in just days. Touch did that. Locusts confuse their loneliness for hunger. It is enough to keep them on the move.

Jozie Konczal
Issue 13, May 2022

is a writer and editor from South Carolina. She earned her MFA from the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University in 2019. Her work has been featured in Ninth Letter, Open Minds Quarterly, FERAL, and elsewhere. In 2021, she was a finalist in Palette Poetry’s Emerging Poet Prize. When she’s not writing or reading, Jozie enjoys practicing yoga, making playlists, and shopping for candles. Currently, she lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her partner and pets.

To read more of her work, visit:

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