Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2022    fiction    all issues


Li Zhang

Ana Reisens
Pam asked about Europe
& other poems

Krystle May Statler
To the Slow Burn
& other poems

Kristina Cecka
On Remodeling
& other poems

Belinda Roddie
Bless The Bones Of California
& other poems

Summer Rand
Alexander tells me how he'd like to be buried
& other poems

Alexander Perez
Toward the Rainbow
& other poems

Karo Ska
self-portrait of compassion…
& other poems

David Southward
The Pelican
& other poems

George Longenecker
Stamp Collection
& other poems

Mary Keating
& other poems

Talya Jankovits
Imagine A World Without Raging Hormones
& other poems

Laurie Holding
Sonnet to Mr. Frost
& other poems

David Ruekberg
A Short Essay on Love
& other poems

Elaine Greenwood
There’s a thick, quiet Angel
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Carry On Caretaker
& other poems

Jefferson Singer
Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter…
& other poems

Diane Ayer
A Fan
& other poems

Kaecey McCormick
Meditation Before Desert Monsoon
& other poems

Meg Whelan
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
& other poems

Aaron Glover
On Transformation
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
[I'm crying in a sandwich shop reading Diane Seuss' sonnets]
& other poems

Holly Cian
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Selective Memories are the Only Gift of Dementia
& other poems

Steven Monte
& other poems

Mervyn Seivwright
Fear Mountain
& other poems

Aaron Glover

Before There Was The Beginning

a woman hovered in space

a caboodle of elements besides

she was restless

she wanted to make something

but did not know how to begin

she dipped her fingers into a compartment

& traced the shape of a planet

but, bored, tossed it aside

in she dipped & again she traced

orbits, suns, asteroids—shapes

we have no words to name

but through which she could extend

her slender arm & wrap everything

to her breast     still

it was not right

tossed aside, tossed aside

a great galaxy jumbled & sprawling

piling up behind her

she looked over at what she had made

how oceans were forming

how dust was aligning itself into rings

how amebae were beginning to cogitate

& she was ambivalent

& her afternoon tea had grown cold

after a time her wife approached

& seeing          as wives often do

the woman’s frustration with her work

the wife said

come here love

let me gently comb your hair

with my fingers

I will pour you a glass of wine

& while the lasagna bakes

you can tell me of your day

that night the woman could not sleep

as she rolled side to side

she thought again of oceans

of saline wombs for life

mercurial moons of mercury quicksilver

of sliver limpid on her fingertips

as she had drawn ice storms

& the eyes of great fish

rolling to her wife she called

softly     quiet as a distant star     her name

hoping she would open

hoping magic might alight within her name

but on her wife slept

the woman knew for herself, then, she was alone

knew it was hers alone to find

the diamond of her own pressure

the grass hers to draw from the soil

the eggs to form

the tiny muscles within the eggs

to break the thinnest porcelain walls once

the time came


time was hers to count, to line

she sighed drawing a sheet of night around her

& floated away to begin

Stones In Prayer

these stones are praying

not all stones pray

& not all stones are praying now

but here

in a place with many names throughout time

they pray

they do not pray for careers

for sturdy as they may be

no stone wishes to become a building

in the makeshift cities of men

they do not pray new things

no new television to invite other stones to watch

no purse in which to place articles of stony ablution

they do not even pray company

for stones cannot imagine themselves singly

since stone begets stone

& only great mysteries

like water or wind or

natural laws with various names

(which attempt to bound their power

but cannot)

only mighty forces like these

& time

can separate stones from themselves

like tarantulas sanctified by stars

like saguaros blessed by rain

like the rat snake & pygmy mouse

in transubstantive embrace

this is my body given for you

do this in remembrance of me

The Measure of Storms

hold a ruler to the sky

      how we persist

            chevron raindrops against tin

                  sighing wooden porch slats

            the peat of wet dirt

      sharp as grass-stained denim

check with Gary & the Doppler

      learn a watch isn’t a warning

            isn’t a summer thunderstorm

                  plains girls learn how they are alone

            learn about loneliness

      from overheard conversations

late night kitchen table talk

      how to buy school supplies

            how to send a heart outside a body

                  into the world with more

            than family photos & the body borne

      to gauge & weather what’s coming

to keep her marrow tender

‘Rita’s Wedding ’56’


It must have been lovely—

black & white life.

Not always, as living

is never always lovely—

the cruelty of aging,

the knife of disappointment—

but to have been younger,

for less history,

the novelty of photographs,

a certainty of unknowing,

for finites, for hope.

Future clear as wedding vows.


Card stock lies, sepia beauty,

over-simple, partial truths

performed smiles, mostly

happy families, certain moments—

before rain arrived, before

Uncle James got drunk, threw up,

before tear stained faces in the side yard,

all glass green grass & amber light—

however brief, real as grace,

as marriage, as a magic trick.


There’s no escaping

fractions of fact, the permanence

what’s revealed; something,

maybe one small thing,

how young your mother was, how proud,

whose nose you got, whose smile,

how much she loved you there, there,

                                                                  that moment,

how much hope she had for you.

And maybe she didn’t.

And maybe she did.

On Transformation

(for Emmy, 2019)

your office will be field

nothing to confine you but horizon

your desk a jut of sandstone in a gorge

only the hazard of weather to brook

the details of your young life—its shift

the stretch of your muscles

what will carve your day

how dawn & set of sun

will render your face in compliment—

present themselves as new again

not so much to mystify but

demand greater precision

from the figure of your history

speak yourself aloud

do not be muted by convention

or bound by doubt

mark any pangs of terror you feel

& once considered abandon them

for shadow depends on what shines elsewhere

no time to obscure what has been

you emerge from a silicone-chipped chamber

a great movement of things

the reveal of new passages

an unfamiliar instrument waits

for the pulse of fingers

feel the great organ of the natural world

air & light sustaining

you cannot escape the brilliant crush of your life

do not search for some other source

it is you who are shining

Aaron Glover’s poetry has previously appeared in Thimble Literary Magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Mad Swirl, Illya’s Honey, the Red River Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook Bio Logic (INF Press) was published in 2017. From 2011-2016, he was on faculty in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. As a performer and director, he worked throughout Texas and the Great Plains. He holds an MFA from the University of Houston, and currently lives in Dallas.

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