Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2022    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Summer 2022


Joanne Monte
& other poems

Holly York
Still When I Reach for the Leash
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Catholicism Still Lingers in a Concrete Poem
& other poems

D.T. Christensen
Coded Language
& other poems

Laura Faith
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
Winter in Choctaw
& other poems

Natalie LaFrance-Slack
& other poems

Nicole Sellino
iii. moving, an interruption
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont
In Memoriam / Day of the Dead
& other poems

Sheri Flowers Anderson
On Being A Widow
& other poems

RJ Gryder
& other poems

William S. Barnes
to hatch
& other poems

Suzannah Van Gelder
& other poems

Sam Bible-Sullivan
The Dying Worker’s Soliloquy
& other poems

Hills Snyder
Eclipse (July 4, 2020)
& other poems

Lauren Fulton
Birth Marks
& other poems

David Sloan
& other poems

Nancy Kangas
Dry Dock Cranes of Brooklyn Navy Yard
& other poems

Noreen Graf
In Attendance
& other poems

Jim Bohen
Nothing Tea
& other poems

Thomas Baranski
Let us name him dread and look forward
& other poems

D.T. Christensen

Coded Language

a soft knock on the wall at two a.m. means

the retreat of a bad dream: my daughter’s code

to please come check on me. when I’m there

she’s supine, looking up at neon stars stuck to the

wood slats of the top bunk, her sister inciting

the low grind of teeth above. the stars

unstick over time, we find constellation parts

in bedsheets, on the bottoms of shoes:

carried by the upward drift of

school and dance and a young prying brother.

I had a nightmare, she says. I lay next to her

and draw squares on her back, a thing she learned to

love from her mother, who learned it from her mother.

my wife taught me when I met her and I’ve drawn

squares on backs for 18 years now:

in a dorm room in Flagstaff

in a worn farmhouse outside Madison

in a suburb of the valley where the kids

grow too fast. I know where I’ll draw them

next but it’s hard to say when. we’ve always lived in

code like this: drawing squares, knocking on common

walls at night, three squeezes of a hand when we

can’t speak. if all isn’t code then it’s close,

and as she falls back asleep I whisper

this night’s coda: don’t hesitate to knock.

don’t curse the stars

falling around you.

D.T. Christensen lives in Massachusetts with his wife and three kids.

Dotted Line