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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 15: Sept. 2022
Prose Poem: 187 words
By Daryl Scroggins

Love Touches All Love

The art historian Nicholas Allen has proposed that the image on the shroud was formed by a photographic technique in the 13th century.
—Wikipedia (25 July 2022)

Reluctant, he left for war, looking back at me for a long way. It was a thing required of him. And then I kept myself calm through many nights by imagining each inch of his body. Tracing his hair and eyelids as if he slept beside me. Finding the curve of his arm. A spoke of his ribs. Night dimmed nothing behind my closed eyes, and I was not distracted even as distant thunder, querulous, buzzed at the window’s quarrels. I would cover my face with the sheet to soften the next flash, concentrating. Willing his presence to draw near.

When washing day came, I strung a cord between oaks, and pinned my sheet there to dry. No wind all day, but the sun strong. And as I gathered it in, I saw him there. Wheat chaff on snow. There, as if the touch of my seeing, the heat of it, had almost brought him home.



—Finalist in “The Question of Questions” Ekphrastic Writing Challenge



Publisher’s Note:

Paraphrased from “Shroud of Turin” (“Hypotheses on image origin: Medieval photography”) at Wikipedia:

Link was retrieved on 2 September 2022, and the text read: “The art historian Nicholas Allen has proposed that the image on the shroud could have been formed as early as the 13th century using techniques described in the Book of Optics.

Daryl Scroggins
Issue 15, September 2022

has taught creative writing and literature at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of North Texas, and the Writer’s Garret, in Dallas. He now lives in Marfa, Texas. He is the author of This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash novel (Ravenna Press), Winter Investments: Stories (Trilobite Press), and Prairie Shapes: A Flash Novel (winner of the 2004 Robert J. DeMott Prose Contest). His poems, short stories, and creative nonfictions have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country, including Blink Ink, Cutbank, Eastern Iowa Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Star 82 Review, and Third Wednesday, among others.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Spring, microfiction by Daryl Scroggins in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 12, March 2022)

Writer Boy, microfiction by Scroggins in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 4, July 2020); nominated by MacQ for Best Microfiction 2021

Face of the Deep, ekphrastic prose poem in MacQ (Issue 3, May 2020)

Field Trips, flash fiction in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019)

New to School, microfiction in Eclectica (Jan/Feb 2018)

Two Fictions: “Almost Baptized” and “Against the Current” in New Flash Fiction Review (Issue 10, January 2018)

Eight Stories: A Mini-Chapbook at Web del Sol

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