Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene

The Moment Before

For Daniel

On the inside of the windshield

he saw their reflections

and the blur of a coyote

on the horizon.

He knew then

that time slows down

when you are airborne

as if you are about to throw

your first punch,

or lean in to kiss a girl.

Underneath the sound

of crunching were sixty

years of song, a hundred

prayers made of cloud and dirt.

He wondered about saguaro cactuses

would they grow through upholstery,

would planted shards of glass

grow taller than a Durango Ficus,

would his daughters come to this spot,

place a cross on the side of the freeway

and scratch his name

into earth?

2009 Subaru Legacy

after Patricia Smith

I was equipped for journey, although I did not mean to fly

or end up inside out, a shell of my own purpose.

I am sorry for the twisting

that I caused, for the pavement I could not reach.

Now I know more than the veins on a map.

I know the ditches that accompany freeways.

I know the meaning of these freckled roads

adorned with wooden crosses and Virgin Mary murals.

I never was a shield.

I am a mass of metal.

I saved all I could that day.

Highway 15

I have always known blood. From Niño de Guzman to the steady chase of foyuca, heroin and marijuana. I am crammed with trucks, decorated with potholes, a black top scar that runs for 1,432 miles. When they speak of me they tell me what I’m not: undivided, unlighted, lacking shoulder. Without me it would all be bramble and naked desert hills. I connect Hermosillo to Guaymas, La Frontera to D.F. I am a prayer of convenience, un gracias, a whip of speed. I could tell you that I am cursed: shadowed by the Tropic of Cancer, littered with swollen dreams, haunted by promises of the undelivered. I toss and crumble. I shriek and slither. When the cars stack up I am silent, just a wail of wind on greedy, teethy track.

What is Left:

The quota and the libre,

cactus needles begging,

mountains that make shadows

out of landscape, sunrays

that drag their nails

through the dirt.

Old sneaker that ran too slow,

vein of tire tracks

slashing the earth, dust settling,

prickly pear blooming,

bottles emptying.

Nowhere dogs

searching for shade,

a car radio that zigzags through air,

frigit birds swooping like angles of water,

bristles sticking,

wounds scabbing.

Stars that swallow sky,

scattered bits of glass,

teeth clenching the surface,

wind scraping window panes

in hopes of getting in,

in hopes of escaping this land

with the sleeves cut off,

this land that is a rumbling of trumpets

a lake of caskets:

cracked and slivered.


When the jar of pasta sauce

hit linoleum floor,

it reminded her of windshield

with it’s splintered hands

ripping through skin.

When the blood of tomatoes

flashed across her cupboards,

it reminded her of earth,

of desert floor reaching inside

what was meant to be out.

She wiped up pulp

with a bathroom towel.

There were stones left

in between her teeth

asking: where to put this mess?

She felt bits of glass twisting

in her left hand like a key

in a door that does not open.

The scar looked like a lifeline

of too many children. A phone rang.

She wondered if there was any reason

to fill air with verbs where there was only

room for scrap metal. “Do words penetrate wind?”

She would ask if she knew no one would respond,

if she was positive that time moved backward

and that she could cook a simple

pasta dish without freeways

slicing through her kitchen,

without this howling at her feet.

Abigail Templeton-Greene’s poetry has been published in McSweeneys, RATTLE, Pilgrimage, Two Hawks Quarterly, The Tulane Review, The Elixir, Pear Noir and several other journals. She has an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and is a winner of the 2011 Lighthouse Writers Seven Deadly Sins Writing Contest. She was also recently nominated for the Friends of USP Writing Award. Abigail teaches Creative Writing at Florence Crittenton High School in Denver, Colorado.

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