Stick Figures – a poem by Terence Culleton

Stick Figures

Two, jogging way up there along the beach
in hoodies, spindly in the sun. Waves reach
to touch about their shadows, which pull back,
then jab out suddenly again—flicked, black
switchblades bobbing straight along in sync.
They merge a moment now, now they shrink
apart again, a sparkling flop-eared dog
galumphing up ahead, meet analogue,
if there ever could be, or couldn’t, for
a kind of love still wagging anymore,
some image, some weird numinous embrace
receding forward, way up past that place,
past rocks and sea-cress, tide pools—shining—white—
something: a laid out open palm of light.

A two-time Pushcart nominee, Terence Culleton has published three collections of formally crafted narrative and lyric poems, including A Communion of Saints and Eternal Life (both out through Anaphora Literary Press) and, most recently, A Tree and Gone, a collection of formal English sonnets out in 2021 through Future Cycle Press. Sonnets from A Tree and Gone have appeared in Antiphon, Better Than Starbucks (featured poem), Blue Unicorn, Eclectic Muse, Innisfree, Orbis (Readers’ Choice), Raintown Review, Schuylkyll Valley Journal (featured poet), and numerous other anthologies and journals. A Tree and Gone is available at or through his website,

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