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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 22: 4 Feb. 2024
Poem: 192 words
By Gabrielle Myers

Messejana Message #18

We wander through convent ruins. 
On either side of us, roofless walls crumble, 
worn by a century’s onslaught of rain, 
summer’s heat shatter. Sort through snail 
shells long dried, bleached by a year’s sun. 
Bend to touch a fig tree birthed from the well’s wall—
twist thick through metal towards light. 
Press tight against the convent’s stem wall, 
see fracturing slate and clay bricks 
pushed out to the olive grove. 
Trunks knot at their bases, 
still bear fruit the monks cured every fall. 
Crouch in the wheat field so our eyes 
set themselves to see from seed spike level. 
Finger a sheep’s vertebrae long cleaned by foxes, 
disinfected by sun’s sanitizing light. 
We’re the ones who made it out; 
we’re the ones now free to give our bodies 
to whom we want, take the ones we want, 
travel in small villages on the edge of what we could have imagined, 
create new objects from our minds with clay and yesterday’s litter, 
write new stories etched from the eucalyptus grove’s thin canopy, 
able to find completeness 
by losing ourselves in our lives’ sculpting, 
find freeform joy in our malleable minds. 
Gabrielle Myers
Issue 22 (February 2024)

is a writer, professor, and former chef, and the Farm-to-Fork columnist for Inside Sacramento magazine. Her memoir, Hive-Mind (Lisa Hagan Books, 2015), details her time of love, awakening, and tragic loss on an organic farm. Her first poetry book, Too Many Seeds (Finishing Line Press, 2021), contains poems that explore food and nourishment in their complex glory as experienced through field, kitchen, and food-factory work as well as more metaphorical ways of soul feeding. Her second poetry book, Break Self: Feed, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2024.

Her poetry has been published in Adirondack Review, Atlanta Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Catamaran, Connecticut River Review, Edible East Bay, Evergreen Review, Fourteen Hills, Pacific Review, and San Francisco Public Press.

Access links to her memoir, poetry book, published works, interviews, YouTube cooking channel, column, and seasonal recipe blog through her website: www.gabriellemyers.com

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