Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2022    fiction    all issues


Li Zhang

Ana Reisens
Pam asked about Europe
& other poems

Krystle May Statler
To the Slow Burn
& other poems

Kristina Cecka
On Remodeling
& other poems

Belinda Roddie
Bless The Bones Of California
& other poems

Summer Rand
Alexander tells me how he'd like to be buried
& other poems

Alexander Perez
Toward the Rainbow
& other poems

Karo Ska
self-portrait of compassion…
& other poems

David Southward
The Pelican
& other poems

George Longenecker
Stamp Collection
& other poems

Mary Keating
& other poems

Talya Jankovits
Imagine A World Without Raging Hormones
& other poems

Laurie Holding
Sonnet to Mr. Frost
& other poems

David Ruekberg
A Short Essay on Love
& other poems

Elaine Greenwood
There’s a thick, quiet Angel
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Carry On Caretaker
& other poems

Jefferson Singer
Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter…
& other poems

Diane Ayer
A Fan
& other poems

Kaecey McCormick
Meditation Before Desert Monsoon
& other poems

Meg Whelan
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
& other poems

Aaron Glover
On Transformation
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
[I'm crying in a sandwich shop reading Diane Seuss' sonnets]
& other poems

Holly Cian
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Selective Memories are the Only Gift of Dementia
& other poems

Steven Monte
& other poems

Mervyn Seivwright
Fear Mountain
& other poems

Writer's Site

Talya Jankovits

I Fall Down/I Fall Short


My husband has saved two people’s lives.

Lying in bed at night,

his heart pumps

a drumbeat

into the darkness

my cheek fitting

into the crest of his chest.

He is awake.

He is not.

I talk about the usual:

The lit agent said no.

The baby has a runny nose.

The eldest finished the fourth Harry Potter.

And what did he think of dinner?


When I was pregnant

with my second,

I fell on the sidewalk

coming home from shul.

I was in four-inch heels

carrying our toddler.

He was righting

all three of us,

before I even


how hard I’d hit the ground.


I only wear flats now.

I still don’t know CPR.

I still don’t know the Heimlich maneuver.

I have four daughters.


There were ten of us in the Sukkah.

Across the table,

the guest in the button-down shirt

started choking, gasping, grasping.

No one moved.

He coughed without sound.

He pointed to his throat.

I screamed, Daniel

namesake of he who

was thrown

into the lion’s den.

He ran out to the table,

stood behind the man,

wrapped his arms around him

pushed into his chest.

After he saved his life,

everyone resumed eating.


He cried for me,

invoking my name

like a prayer

into the answering machine.

Please, please.

Tali means dew, means morning,

means reliable.

He had just saved his

eleven-year-old brother’s life.

He had to perform CPR in the ICU.

He noticed the heartbeat had stopped

when no one else did.

He called me after, called out, Tali, Tali, please.

I wasn’t there.


We drive carpool.

We watch Superstore.

We argue over who gets the better

spot on the couch.

I know the shape of his jaw,

the scar on his chin.

The way his eyes water when he’s tired.

I know the sound of his sleep.

The smell of his coffee

brewed minutes before I wake.

We go about our everyday.

Two people are still alive because of him.

Imagine A World
Without Raging Hormones.

I’d rather the ticklish kiss

of the many legged, wayward

Black cottonwood seed.

Fibrous weaving of soft fuzz—

early summer’s frosty mirage.

Dioecious, these thick lenticel

covered trunks. Female flowering,

rotund-ovate: a forest menstruation of

floating seeds aimless and certain

towards nowhere and


hungry to germinate,

populate the world with

green heart shaped leaves.

This would be preferable

to the wet kiss of a mouth

dirtied and chapped,

dehydrated of kindness,

compassion, a chunk

of earth gripped tight

in carnivorous teeth,

rabid shaking

and shaking

to tear off a greater piece

until the whole of it is


but rot robbing the hairy fruits

of the dimorphic Balsam Poplar of


to plant its rooting hormones.


I show her how to

grasp the handle,

glide the blade

sharp and precise

upwards on the same

leg that I once stretched

rolls of fat apart to fish

out bits of grey fuzzy

lint that she collected

there like she grew to

collect seashells from

shore sides, the Atlantic

to the Pacific. One nick.

Blood balls, slides

downwards over a

bulged ankle joint

and I think this

is how we all got


from bleeding.

from wonder.

Talya Jankovits’ work has appeared in a number of literary journals. Her short story, “Undone,” in Lunch Ticket, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her poem, “My Father Is A Psychologist,” in BigCityLit, was nominated for both a Pushcart prize and The Best of the Net. Her Poem, “Guf,” was the recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award in Arkana Magazine and nominated for the Best of Net. She holds her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and resides in Chicago with her husband and four daughters.

Dotted Line