Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2019
    fiction    all issues


Cover Antoine Petitteville

Laura Apol
Easter Morning
& other poems

Taylor Dibble
A Masterpiece in Progress
& other poems

Julia Roth
Lessons From My Menstrual Cup
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Ceaseless Wind. The Drying Sheaves
& other poems

Nicole Yackley
Mea Culpa
& other poems

George Longenecker
I’m sentimental for the Paleolithic
& other poems

Taylor Gardner
Short Observations by Angels
& other poems

Greg Tuleja
No Thomas Hardy
& other poems

Joanne Monte
War Casualties
& other poems

Nathaniel Cairney
Potato Harvest
& other poems

Steven Dale Davison
Wordsmouth Harbor Founder
& other poems

Heather 'Byrd' Roberts
How I Named Her
& other poems

sunny ex
& other poems

Ashton Vaughn
Through the Valley of Mount Chimaera
& other poems

Linda Speckhals
& other poems

Lucy Griffith
Breathing Room
& other poems

Steven Valentine
& other poems

Emily Varvel
B is for Boys and G is for Guys
& other poems

Jhazalyn Prince
Priceless Body
& other poems

Marte Stuart
Generation Snowflake
& other poems

S.J. Enloe
Kale Soup
& other poems

Meghan Dunsmuir
Our Path
& other poems

Steven Dale Davison

A Sleepless Sense of Found

Fog gathers all night on the oak above us,

      in the meadow all around us.

As the stars step back behind the mist,

      the curled brown wetted leaves

      stitter down through the branches of the tree.

We lie close together in our bags, talking.

We steep there, we sink deeper into the share

      as points of correspondence pile up

      in layers from our stories.

My hungry tongue and lips turn demure,

      my wonder rises without peak

      until a sleepless sense of found enfolds me.


In cooldim of greygreen a beenman

      is grinseen, a newway to followfoot.

The woodsing a feeltune. The moonroots

      of shoots an liveseed are wingloose

and bringhymn to yourside in loomlight

      in mineseye. Tremblesure, our wesong

is heartlong, rises in treebreezes and leaves,

      is strong and sowise, so . . .

You Are Leaving

This monstrous looming,

distant but oncoming,

like the smoke of a burning

village cloaking the landscape,

promises a razing.

                                    Ash falls,

thickening in the non-light

in a courtyard deserted of footfalls.

The fountain is dry.

                                    Night draws nigh.

The scent of ends chokes out “Soon, too.”

O My Heart

You and I will be very good.

We will let her get round the corner,

wait two beats, maybe three—long enough

to know for sure she’s not coming back.

(Then I don’t care what she hears.)

You will lunge, then, I know.

And I will throw my arms around your neck

and grapple your howling desperation

until I’ve reattached the chain.

But I won’t let you go; no,

I will murmur something soothing,

some wordless, tuneless, hopeless—.

                  I will cling to your quivering

until I feel it’s safe to merely rest there

with my face buried to the tears

in your familiar must. The long,

long night we will sleeplessly entrust

the darkness with our pain

and wait to see: does the wrong

depart with the sunrise,

or cruelly taunt us

from the limit of your run?

But, O my heart, I promise:

I will not desert you.

I will not leave you all alone.

Wordsmouth Harbor Founder

I rage into the phone.

Heedless? No. I feel

the windlash crack the lines,

I bid the waves crash me ’gainst the pier.

The wordstorm pounds with sounds

my lips curl to form, I exult

as I hurl the handset down

into the consequences,

at last past any caring

that the relationship is sheering

its moorings and plunging

into forsaken haven danger.

(Ill the fell tongue tastes after anger

jettisons the heaviest cargo,

while the unlashed chests careen

across the lightless decks below.)

As I turn from the phone stand,

the ghost-ship heels toward the maelstrom,

rudderless, sails shredded by the gale.

As I walk down the hall, the empty hull

tips over the grimace lips and shudders

as it surrenders to the swirl.

Wracked and groaning,

cracked open past mending,

way past hailing any rescue,

I sink. I drink past drowning

the deep oblivion overhead.

I slowly settle on the bed.

I listen in the darkness to the echo

of all the reckless things I’ve said.

Steven Dale Davison has published poems in a number of journals. He has written plays in both verse and prose, some of which have been produced. He has written both short and long fiction and has published a number of nonfiction essays and book chapters. Mr. Davison worked for twenty years as a journalist and professional writer in the private sector and was awarded a writing scholarship by Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.

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