Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2020    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Winter 20


French silk sample book

Paula Reed Nancarrow
Morning Coffee
& other poems

Jill Burkey
& other poems

Oak Morse
Boys Born out of Blues
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor
Engine Ode
& other poems

Monique Jonath
a mi sheberach
& other poems

Lisa Rachel Apple
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Human Condition
& other poems

Kirsten Hippe-Rychlik
and we are echoes
& other poems

Devon Bohm
& other poems

Jeddie Sophronius
I Rest My Mother Tongue
& other poems

John Delaney
Poem as Map
& other poems

Elizabeth Bayou-Grace
Fire in Paradise
& other poems

In Utero
& other poems

Michelle Lerner
Ode to Exhaustion
& other poems

William French
I Have Never Been
& other poems

Josiah Patterson Wheatley
Coeur de Fleurs
& other poems

Karo Ska
womb song
& other poems

Robyn Joy
& other poems

Han Raschka
Love Language
& other poems

Rebbekah Vega-Romero
The Memory in My Pinky
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont
Europe, too, Came from Somewhere Else
& other poems

Scott Ruescher
At the Childhood Home of Ozzy Osbourne
& other poems

Emily R. Daniel
Visitation Dreams
& other poems

Lindsay Gioffre
Toxicodendron Radicans [Sonnet 1]
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor


Every city has a scaffolding, a blue wood prism

borne on the backs of bars riddled with flu germs

and fingerprints. This is the jungle

for city kids to swing through, a runway

for parades of pigeons. This is everything.

This is the grime of progress at its purest,

chewed gum and heart that sizzles

over skyline. This starts here, under street-roofs

with the roaches and their yellow shells

like hard hats. New York isn’t sorry

for inconvenience, light pollution outdoing the stars,

because the constellations have already been named

and the rooms, the source of this haze,

are housing the namers.


“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they would never recover”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Unlike all common intimacies, a strange

hand’s subway pole brush, coins puddling

into grocery palms with ridges still warm,

eyes that latch, seeing a lone

glove on the street and wearing it home,

grateful for some wool

to thaw the frosted thoughts.

For the rest of existence, we will shiver

like fevered trees shaking off dew.

It was that easy, that quick.

These encounters are terminal. These are the judgements

unreserved. These belch into the skin

and weigh it down behind the knees,

below the eyes. These webs spread

and stay for always. These are toxic,

every line and dime coated in grime

that cannot be scrubbed or steamed out.

Every life is a track of no’s

and yes’s, a map of deliverance.

that we will not elect to unremember.

Our temperatures will only rise, only swelter

over stone, our words and our sounds

trailing smiles and cement.

Only this “yes” and the space

it used to fill, the mold poured and left to harden.

Only this pinpoint, this place

we will forever trace in human hands,

only this route, our universal coordinates, our crease.


A lock of Lincoln’s hair sold for eighty-one thousand.

What will they want next? My treasures:

             toenails, toothbrush, pen,

             vocal cords, book spines, clock faces, cups,

             calves, marrows, cells

spread and pinned and borne before


             This house, divided,

can be yours in pieces. Claim one,

quickly, so that even when I perish

from the earth, somebody will possess

me, press me

near and whisper “mine.”

Engine Ode

I dream electric and even in my sleep bow to the buzz.

With a sharpened scalpel, the mind commands,

can splice, like human genes, the continent.

We hunger for surgeons, language operators,

the suprasternal notch, thrummer, beater,

tambourine of heart that splits

each collarbone (this is worship), large and deep

enough for a swallow (of wine) to sing.

At fifteen, I dreamed in stone.

The days sprawled on sandy lawns,

lay in wait of rain,

spread massive feathered wings,

like cygnets that do not touch in flight.

No airborne creature can be bound.

There were no collisions.

Gulfs divided the days. I would press

one palm to Yesterday, one

to Tomorrow, a figure suspended.

I waded into each night,

basked in every deep blue pool.

Tomorrow spills

across the dinner table, soaking the carpets.

Yesterday flings herself into my lap,

demanding kisses and crossing, tossing

one stockinged calf over an opposite knee.

Tomorrow has miasmal halitosis.

Yesterday prefers a chardonnay, Tomorrow cold gin,

their twiny legs hooked together.

All the days want to speak at once and do.

I dream electric. I want

to unwind Today’s intestines,

to send the trains, distill

and taste essence.

Within every cat is a small, purring engine.

Beneath my chin, I trace the small hollow.

My human throat rumbles on its own.


“I am one of those who will go on doing till all doings are at an end.”
—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Each cool morning must have run out of doings,

the Viennese stones beneath him warbling,

papers heated in a frenzy for fingers

and the scratching quest of quill,

doings rolling around his wooden floor like dice

with rounded corners. Uncommitted,

he could have lived at a window

where the streets trembled in buttery light

and mid-afternoon scribbles.

Knots hardened in his muscles and notes.

“Today, I will,” he may have promised: he would chuckle,

sneeze, scamper through a tavern, rest both elbows

on a table, learn something by heart, prove,

wake, conduct, bite from a steamy strudel,

bathe, untangle, straighten the wild spine,

set eyes and fingers upon at least six different shawls,

a symphony of doing.

How strange it must have been to dawn

on the day of his very last doing.

At last, a gleaming concerto whispered from him,

cutlery and candles shining in evening splendor beside soups,

folded napkins, and the silence of space to be filled.

Or maybe just a sigh, the doings

having finally all been done,

leaving future composers without

feats, melodies, or even a rest.

Beatrix Bondor is a rising junior (currently on a leave of absence) at Princeton University from New York City. She is studying literature, French language and culture, poetry, and history there, and she is the Poetry Editor for the Nassau Literary Review. Her inexhaustible sources of inspiration include Harry Bauld, skyscrapers, Linden Lane, excellent meals, wending conversations, and unlined paper.

Dotted Line