Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2019
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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

Jhazalyn Prince

What the Body Wants
and Does Not Want

I.     Parted lips at wide doorways

parched and empty intimacies

mounds of poppy and lilac leaves

Black hands ; pale at palm and itching

touch me at the tip            please

swallow my breath

don’t spit me


cacoon landing

what are woman body parts


eyes rolled in filth

brown eyes ; sodden

Big belly             empty womb

Priceless body

II.     her body unfolded

tendons tight

but spilling outward

like a knotted shoelace

dug into with the inner side of

your strongest nail

inside there was a battle

but her body lay still


not singing

like when held

by dance and melody

not vibrating

like when limbs spread out

as the first of morning sunlight leaks through the blinds

His body curled into her

filled her with sound

that had no rhythm

the cucaw of a wide-winged

sharp-beaked eagle

searching for a quick snack

nothing that would make Him fatigued

the deep whistled cry

of a siren

rushing to beat death

those sounds were not meant to live in her

make her glow red from the inside

how would the world believe a quiet body filled with foreign sound?

III.     I don’t sleep the same

once your scent has lifted from my sheets

and I can no longer breathe you in

Being touched scares me at first

The muscles in my back flex and my butt clenches

Then I come undone

like a song so well sung

the room vibrates afterwards

Run your fingertips in the warm

crease behind my knee

damp with sweat like your brow

when you burrow your face

into the crook of my neck

Show me other ways that I can bend

touch me and don’t touch me

and bring your lips so close

that when you whisper

your breath raises the hairs on my skin

forget that we exist except to exist in this moment

So taboo, just with you, won’t you . . . come through.

How does it feel to live

inside of me

a house that has been empty for years

How will you decorate my wombs

crash your angled hips into what is plush

into what is warm and dewy

and leave behind your sweet and fading smell

maybe if I hadn’t pressed my face into my pillow

and hungrily inhaled the memory of you

it could have lasted longer

but instead your face is fleeting

Sweet as it is

IV.     Barren

belly bloated with air

Here is the mother of your land

Slain on it

skin melted into her soil and tears seeped into her veins

your eyes disdainful

for the love she once had for the earth

the songs she wept into her bosom

the dancing feet she padded into her ground

are now swept away and over and consuming her

you took the child away screaming and

Stripped the tenderness from her eyes

the virtue from her thighs

until she was child no more

but beaten but bruised but bullied and subdued

the dirt will not spring rose petals         because it is saturated with blood

too heavy with melancholy to pretend

you were not the one who caused her ruin

you with greedy hands and disdainful eyes

God forbid you give back

even a crumb of what you’ve wrought from the womb of this earth

scatter like tumble weed in a desert

as she be deserted and lonely

and know not what company be like when it just stand there

cause it always be picking and nipping and grabbing at her fruitfulness

Oh she.

is bound to grow tired of you and roll you off her striped back

Patch up her wounds

Take her chosen few

The ones you watched suffer

with those eyes that suddenly turned blind

The ones humbled through suffering and blunt trauma

The ones you dared not help less you be less comfortable with yourself

Don’t you feel less comfortable with yourself?

Jhazalyn Prince was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where she earned her high school diploma at Academy for Young Writers before moving on to Amherst, MA, to earn her Bachelor’s degree at Hampshire College. There she studied Creative Writing as a source of healing for marginalized communities. She is a poet with special interest in interdisciplinary writing and exploring themes of maternal relationships, body image, race and inter-generational trauma to name a few.

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