An attic room
with slant ceilings,
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.
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/