Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2023    fiction    all issues


Joel Filipe

Kristina Cecka
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Uncivil War of Love
& other poems

LuAnn Keener-Mikenas
Skunks at Twilight
& other poems

Alyssa Sego
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Forest of One
& other poems

Brent M. Foster
Ode to Darwin
& other poems

Jack Giaour
trans man is feeling blue
& other poems

Alan Gann
how strange
& other poems

Richard Baldo
The Privilege
& other poems

Michael Fleming
& other poems

Holly York
As it turned out, there was no bomb on board
& other poems

Celeste Briefs
Late Poppies
& other poems

Kayla E.L. Ybarra
Goose Song
& other poems

S.E. Ingraham
Leaving to Arrive
& other poems

Rachel Robb
Molting Scarlet Tanager
& other poems

Bruce Marsland
Sauna by a Finnish lake at Midsummer
& other poems

Ellen Romano
Seven Sisters
& other poems

Greg Hart
False Coordinates
& other poems

Greg Tuleja
& other poems

Corinne Walsh
Southern Charm
& other poems

Holly York

As it turned out,
there was no bomb on board

Pacific-bound passengers, enshrouded by night

and vibration sleep right through

the turn. Can’t tell them,

the captain said. One

may be the bomber.

                                       review my life

                                       raft assignment my life

                                       jacket instructions

                                       forgetting my life

                                       that may not be

                                       which door do I open

                                       for launch hoping

                                       not to mess up

                                       all still alive

                                       thinking fast

                                       from blink

                                       to blink

                                       will this one

                                       be the last

                                       will all



Through the darkness, sudden light. The runway!

Our final departure, after all, won’t be tonight.

I grab the mic, half sigh, half cry, “Fasten

your seat belts” for landing (back where we began),

and gasp it out again in three more tongues,

to rouse them from hours of dozing unknowing.

They only thunder their dismay that they’re HERE

and not THERE, where they’d planned to be today.

The Other Shoe

On Pan Am, you’ll have a stewardess who knows her way around
the world the way most girls know their way around the block.
From a TV commercial

Gardenia-scented breezes breathed me past

tiptoeing waves that rumpled satin black

volcanic sand. There was a single shoe,

a few steps later, reading glasses, bent

and lightless. Inbound I’d served the skipper’s

coffee one and one, had cooked Tom’s steak not

rare but medium. On that very beach

I’d slapped away Tom’s wandering hands and growled


                         The guys headed for Samoa, where

                         their 806 went down, all passengers

                         and crew. Tom’s landing, the black box said,

                         the Tom I’d told to go to hell the night before.

Through warming seas and over land

time’s flotsam and jetsam wash up

on memory’s shrinking shore.

As I walked the dog this morning I saw

just down the block a single shoe.

Fight or Flight Night

It’s your lucky night—he said and I knew

then he was no knight in shining armor,

as they say. Things went downhill from there

He detailed each carrier landing,

each different lay on each layover. Thus

the night had not gone well. We finished

dinner, strolled too long on the moon-starved beach.

Too early to call it a night—he shoved

past me through my front door demanding

that I offer him—what else? a night cap.

Also a goodnight kiss. You can guess

the rest. We wrestled. He twisted my arm

and I snatched my keys from the nightstand—small

defense. Threats and bruises. He seemed to doze

so I grabbed the phone. He cursed and called me

a tease. Accusations, more threats, wrestling.

When the night was finally over, relief

that whoever he was would never

come back. Wherever he is after

so many years, he probably doesn’t

remember that night

or me—

Flight 815

Hurtling west toward Pacific morning

imprisoned in a metal tube. Sleeping

passengers. Overheads packed, and packed

underneath. Crew sleeping shifts in aisle seats.

Air of stale food, toilets and failing

deodorant. Dim light endless night

Why on earth had she bid this flight?

Destination far as the sextant’s star.

Tiare flowered hais and seashell leis

flying fish and joyous swish of dolphins

nearing shore thatched huts’ glass floor

for prying eyes to see sea creatures’ lives

slack strings strum, steel drums thrum hips gyrate,

grass skirts vibrate: tamouré!

dim light endless night why this flight

Hurtling west over Pacific black velvet—

longing for shore. At the jump seat in back she

touches the door, whose red arrow beckons

with a sign: to OPEN.

Jettison unneeded words

I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a 
whole page of words.

—Frank Ohara

The earth, our big blue marble, is “as blue

as an orange,” says Eluard. Orange,

the new black, is as orange as a black box

filled with words of flyers fallen silent.

Reentry capsule is jettisoned to splash down

offshore. No reentry without hand stamp,

says the sign at the sock hop door. Without

a word, he takes my hand. A man of few

words. Strong silent type. Say it with flowers,

not words. Actions speak louder. “Leave some

white space talking through” says Mrs. Thornton

in watercolor class. White space talks like

white noise. Then Mama said Don’t talk

with your mouth full. Now I say Don’t talk

with your mouth too full of words. Enough

is enough, by definition. Why

do they call it a black box if it’s orange?

Holly York is Senior Lecturer Emerita of French at Emory University. In addition to Sixfold, where she was runner-up in Summer 2022, her poems appear in Crosswinds, Oberon, and in online journals in the U.S. and U.K. Her chapbooks are: “Backwards Through the Rekroy Wen,” “Picture This” and “Postcard Poems.” A blackbelt in karate and grandmother of five, she lives in Atlanta with her two Dobermans.

Dotted Line