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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem: 142 words
By Susan Tekulve


An attic room 
with slant ceilings, 
its window 
framing olive trees cascading 
down the cliff face, 
the table before it holding 
a bowl of cherries, biscotti softening 
in sea air. Prayer cards 
of Pope Francis, white doves exploding 
from his fingertips, 
guard my bed 
un letto matrimonial, two twins 
bound together by sheets starched 
by sun. A breeze enters the door 
propped open by a stone. 
It acquaints itself with the back 
of my knees, shoulders, and neck, 
until I know only my body, my breath 
matching the air that caresses 
the unread pages of books and maps 
tangled in the sheets around me 
before slipping out the window 
to bounce the bows of olives, 
the silvery undersides of their leaves 
flashing beneath the sun 
like fish swimming a river 
down to greet the sea 
where the water greets the sand. 



Susan Tekulve’s
Issue 14, August 2022

newest book is Second Shift: Essays (Del Sol Press). She is the author of In the Garden of Stone (Hub City Press), winner of the South Carolina Novel Prize and a Gold IPPY Award. She’s also published two short-story collections: Savage Pilgrims (Serving House Books) and My Mother’s War Stories (Winnow Press), the latter of which received the 2004 Winnow Press fiction prize. Her web chapbook, Wash Day, appears in the Web Del Sol International Chapbook Series.

Her nonfiction, short stories, and essays have appeared in journals such as Denver Quarterly, The Georgia Review, The Louisville Review, Puerto del Sol, New Letters, and Shenandoah. Selections from her photo essay, “White Blossoms,” appeared in Earth Hymn (Volume 6 of the KYSO Flash Anthology), with the full essay published online in Issue 12 of KYSO Flash.

Ms. Tekulve has received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She teaches in the BFA and MFA writing programs at Converse University.

Author’s website: https://susantekulve.com/

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