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

Taylor Gardner

molding (kinship with the eldritch)1

honeysuckle cherubim wings were

shaped from the petals crushed in between god’s

hands. soft like pulp, they still bleed when they hear his voice.

seraphim wings were torn into crow feathers

were carved from thorns and the edges

of leaves. they bent and cut and survived and

god’s hands still wear the scars. they hurt to look at.

god didn’t make the archangel’s wings.

they made themselves from the

chaos left behind. they stole the dark, the

before, and held the horror sharpened from

the light. god smiles when he looks at them

and the wings shiver back. there is nothing

beautiful in misshapen petals. the book did not say beauty,

god did not say bloom, he said creation and

everything is ugly about that.

1 An atheist looks at the biblical version of angels and feels a kinship

we are different parts
of the same thing

a girl is told she was made in the image of

god and she wonders which part, wonders

how it is good to be part of scraps.

god pulled out his herbivore teeth one molar

at a time, left nothing left but ripped flesh and

blood and us. he carved angels out of the

bone, peeled them into flowers,

and made them into the carnivore

he couldn’t bring himself to be. twisted

demons from nerves and they are nothing but

pain, eating the leftover bone shards in

a surgical endeavor to try and

not feel such agony anymore.

god smiled, sunken mouth and gums and all,

holes where we’re supposed to

be, and said “eat. think of me in the hunger

and know that to be hollowed is to be

hallowed, that there is beauty in the

emptiness and that you are empty with ache.”

lost cause

she felt too much and saw too much in a

world that would not look back—in a god who

would not answer. she was created without

wings, only a force of fury; beautiful

and beastly, a dragon inside of a snake,

and she wondered if it was because he

knew she was to fall. she feels too much

and she cannot believe that there is something

larger—how could anything exist

in a greater magnitude to what she feels?

she does not believe but she will blame.

short observations by angels1

i. that ringing in my ears when the sky takes us sings like ecstasy cradled in their throats—i am bound by the vibrations in my bones—by the angels digging into my skin—by the altar i’m being pried open into.

ii. absolution tastes like finishing silence, clementine and salt—it’s pinned by the wings on god’s bed—spilling hallelujahs to the sheets and feeling the light leave marks bruised onto its thighs.

iii. god belongs to the devil in the way you moan his name—the way you carve desire into a halo—and how you then break it into horns—god and desire are hidden claws that drag down your back and into your hair—mouthing prayers and verses down to the skeleton beneath your flesh.

iv. when god said kneel—lucifer was the first to say “kinky” and was the first to say “no”—all glowing hoard before a dragon—and then he was the first to take power while on his knees and make a crown out of bowing—make dragon wings out of gold.

v. saints lick constellations onto your lips and novas in your mouths until you are bursting—they have no wings—just names they make you scream until they feel like they can fly

vi. creation, creation, creation

1 The atheist rewrites Genesis into an orgy

god is just a personification
of things we’re too scared to say

she learned how to pray through the mouthful of words

caught in her throat by spitting onto the paper

and turning the shards into lines that spoke

to her better than any other god ever could.

yes, she worships. yes, she aches. but isn’t that just faith?

that she’s still coughing up slivers and loose thoughts,

that she’s not letting her blood drown her from the inside,

is just faith in a day where she won’t have to hurt to write.

dandelion seeds and sun stretched rays will

be all she needs to grow a confessional instead of being one.

she believes—in herself.

Taylor Gardner, nineteen, is an amateur writer who enjoys tiptoeing, and sometimes outright annihilating, the line between poetry and prose. She endeavors at this from her small dorm room at SUNY Oneonta, located in Upstate New York, where she studies English and Creative Writing.

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