Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2017    fiction    all issues


Cover Marija Zaric

Kathryn Merwin
For Aaron, Disenchanted
& other poems

William Stevens
Celestial Bodies
& other poems

Kendra Poole
Take-Off, or The Philosophy of Leaving
& other poems

AJ Powell
Mama Atlas
& other poems

Matt Farrell
Waves in the dark
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
Eating a Horsemeat Sandwich at Astana Airport 
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
& other poems

Joshua Levy
Venezuela Evening
& other poems

Ryan Lawrence
Vegan Teen Daughter vs. Worthless Dad
& other poems

George Longenecker
Yard Sale
& other poems

Susanna Kittredge
My Heart
& other poems

Morgan Gilson
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Annihilation of Bees
& other poems

Taylor Bell
Browsing Tinder in an Aldi
& other poems

David Anderson
Continental Rift
& other poems

Charles McGregor
The Boys That Don’t Know
& other poems

Cameron Scott
Ashes to Smashes, Dust to Rust
& other poems

Kenneth Homer
Inferno Redux
& other poems

Alice Ashe
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Marriage's Weekly Schedule
& other poems

Kim Alfred
Soul Eclipse
& other poems

Morgan Gilson


Strands of time travel

in red threads of conspiracy

out from now to thousands

upon thousands of eventualities,

and my stomach cramps,

nauseous at the thought

of these other realities

we can’t see. Yet

it is written:

Our days are numbered

(possibly itemized,

and maybe even bulleted).

I woke up panicked

and perspiring.

I had been dreaming

of Dostoyevsky.

I was a piano key,

black and white,

and sounding

the same note over

each time I was struck.


every day is the same

as the day before, the day soon after.

it is the happenings that transform.

six months ago I couldn’t get out of bed.

voices came and went; sleep went

more often than it came. And I remember

all of this not because I ever saw the sun

rise or set on any of those days but because

it is not <now>. the most beautiful flower

blooms in the field next to your house.

it is aflame, a star with earthly roots.

change is the only dawn.

Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question

-e e cummings

always only (is only) always

the earnest eternal

beautiful change (which) may

answer back again

that echo that

asks what is (asked of it)

an emptiness more empty

even than the void of a heart

more vast than the (last

beautiful) expanse (of stars not known so

question answers that [answer] question[s])

I Want to Pick Out My Own Coffin

I wish I was warm inside

my mother’s womb again.

And I could float through life

listening to the rhythm of ventricles and lungs.

Safe inside my placenta suit,

my eyes would be bulging, dark spots

beneath a film of skin (the softest, slimiest skin

covering my everything: little hands and toes, with

the tiniest nails, that squirm and wave wildly).

No thought would ever enter my prenatal mind.

But thoughts do come constantly piercing my brain

that was born. Uncontrolled,

this thing in my chest goes on without asking.

Breathe in then breathe out,

and keep sucking up life.

I’ll never be unborn again,

so I‘ll be alive until there’s something else I’m in.

Klonopin Dreams

I have epiphanies,

instants of mental lightning,

like moments of lucidity

(flashes of brilliance and clarity)

and then nothing.

I have epiphanies

(that turn my eyes to kaleidoscopes) so I can see

how tiny puzzle pieces continuously form and reform to

compose everything.

Moments of lucidity

twist (like light bulbs) in the sockets of reality

and (spot light the universe as it) opens its mouth to sing:

“I have epiphanies!”

They resonate in the consciousness like harmonies

resound in the ear of the mind of the heart.

Like moments of lucidity

life (washes over me),

wave upon heavy, drowning wave.

(I have epiphanies)

like moments of lucidity.

Morgan Gilson is a teacher in Fort Worth, Texas where she lives with her husband, son, and two dogs. Aside from writing poetry, Morgan spends her time reading, traveling, and attempting to teach herself to play the ukulele using how-to books and Youtube videos.

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