Lines connect us – I can strike up the most surprising conversation with my neighbor in the check-out line. And lines divide us: I’m drawing this one in the sand and dare you to step over it.

In conga lines we share rhythmic moments. In lines of poetry we break open stories and make room to put things together that are clearly out of place in prose.

A brief catalogue of lines

by Sara Eisenberg

I was gloriously out of _______.

He wanted to mark his words:
the shortest distance was a _______
the ● he was making and the ●
of his knife,
(with which he wanted to pin me
before giving his blessing)
a  _______
that ran clear through me
as if I wasn’t even there.

The teachers went on strike in 1974,
my 2nd grader and I took sandwiches down to the picket _______
and we laughed because the 2nd graders, they knew
how to stand and walk in a _______.
The teachers meandered, had no discipline,
modeled being 
out of line,
signs tilted this
way and that.

Stolid grey Soviet citizens, 1977: 
they stood in _______s  ringing the block for
fatty meat, for
bread, for

Cheerful Londoners, 1966 and even now,
they queue up 
at the bus

1966 there was no _______:
no more right way
to queue up
to get in to the US of A

There is still no _______,

no shortest distance

between two sufferings.


Inspired by immigration attorney Matt Cameron

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