Searchings: The Poetic Hill


Dana Gittings is a DC-area poet whose forthcoming collection, “The Dark Dance,” explores how a shared thread of compulsivity can, through the vehicle of writing, link alcohol consumption, intimacy, and the almost manic process of healing. Her poetry has been featured in “Abridged,” “Under the Basho,” and “Avatar,” the literary magazine of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, as well as in “INK BLOTS, Vol. 1,” an anthology from the DC Poetry Collective. As for her poetic inspiration, she says, “I write to find the final line. I write to feel in the dark for power.” Learn more at


We rise and fall to fill
the incessant tick, tick
of the silence, struggle all night
against the weight of it
crushing into the depths
of the ocean between us.

We dig in the sheets
for a toehold,
weather the seclusion
of our private thoughts,
rip our starving hearts
wide open as the moonlight
scooping crescents
in our backs.

We sail our gaze deep
into the eyes for steady seas,
keep watch until morning
as the ship swells
with the tides of our bodies,
pulled side to side
in probing hands.

We search between trick
and trap of our shifting angles
to find each other, gaining ground
with every glance over the shoulder. We don’t
breathe out until the sun comes up,
retreat to our distant cabins,
two continents.

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