Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2014    fiction    all issues


Debbra Palmer
Bake Sale
& other poems

Ann V. DeVilbiss
Far Away, Like a Mirror
& other poems

Michael Fleming
On the Bus
& other poems

Harold Schumacher
Dying To Say It
& other poems

Heather Erin Herbert
Georgia’s Advent
& other poems

Sharron Singleton
Sonnet for Small Rip-Rap
& other poems

Bryce Emley
College Beer
& other poems

Harry Bauld
On a Napkin
& other poems

George Mathon
Do You See Me Waving?
& other poems

Mariana Weisler
Soft Soap and Wishful Thinking
& other poems

Michael Kramer
Nighthawks, Kaua’i
& other poems

Jill Murphy
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Kendall Grant
Winter Love Note
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
White Blossoms at Night
& other poems

Tom Freeman
On Foot, Joliet, Illinois
& other poems

George Longenecker
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
The Bitter Daughter
& other poems

Rebecca Irene
& other poems

Savannah Grant
And Not As Shame
& other poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Titian Left No Paper Trail
& other poems

Martin Conte
We’re Not There
& other poems

A. Sgroi
Sore Soles
& other poems

Miguel Coronado
& other poems

Franklin Zawacki
Experience Before Memory
& other poems

Tracy Pitts
& other poems

Rachel A. Girty
& other poems

Ryan Flores
Language Without Lies
& other poems

Margie Curcio
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
Painted Chickens
& other poems

Nicholas Petrone
Running Out of Space
& other poems

Danielle C. Robinson
A Taste of Family Business
& other poems

Meghan Kemp-Gee
A Rhyme Scheme
& other poems

Tania Brown
On Weeknights
& other poems

James Ph. Kotsybar
& other poems

Matthew Scampoli
Paddle Ball
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Not Exactly
& other poems

Sharron Singleton

Sonnet for Small Rip-Rap

Here is a wooden clothespin that grips

a striped beach towel, rusty nail in the hinge

no one has seen since nineteen thirty six.

Yes, and safety pins, straight pins, bobby-pins

used to plaster curls to my head when I

was twelve, obscure and forgotten as old

bones of the lesser saints. They lie

in dusty drawers, the plain things that uphold

us—buckles, zippers, paperclips, all

the small earnest rip-rap that insist we

button and snap and allow us the small

pleasure of undoing. Praise especially

that which attaches, is unseen, spare—

the needle that mends and binds up the tear.

Why I Don’t Write Poems
About My Father

Old, mottled,


and scarred

where hooks

have ripped,

the fish

has gone

deep, has sunk

through brown-gold

pillars of water,

as if through

a temple ruin,

down beyond

the reach of light,

to lie hidden

among weeds,

tattered fins

and fronds


with the lake’s

slow breathing—

the only sign

of its presence,

a shiver of circle,

unnoticed except

by the watchers,

the heron

and fisherman.

Well hooked

by his quarry,

the fisherman

wants both

to catch and not

catch, to scrape

away the armor

of scales,

to open, gut

the creature—

and still to glide

upon the wide

eye of the lake,

oars dipping, just

rippling the surface,

the shadow

of the boat

sliding across

the shadow

that is the fish.


I lay down

life, crave

earth. Time’s

bell clangs

death, chimes

birth, folds me

in its grip.


in the grave

I twist, split-

ting the shell,

I leap from

the furrow,

an old god,


and knowing.

Hottest Summer on Record

there’s no


the heat   the air

sags with moisture

boundaries blur

between sea and sky

washed in bluegray


air becomes

ocean and we wade

into it   lungs

open and close

like gills   back

bones prickle

with forgotten

fins    each cell

a pouch of liquid

edges    dissolve

speech   thought

becomes vapor

spangled with sweat

your body slips

into mine   wet

boneless and salty

we    stroke together

away from    shore

The Sleep After

While the pleasure of it

rips through me

like lightning on water,

while I think this is

what I could die for,

have died for—

it is the sleep after

in the arms

of the fugitive moon,

in the hands of that saint,

the rose, in the mouth

of the god

that I long for.

Sharron Singleton My poems have appeared in Agni, Rattle, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, among others. In 2009 I won the James River Writers Contest and was named the Poet of 2010 by the journal Passager. I also won 1st place prizes in 2010 and 2012 in the Poetry Society of Virginia annual contest, 1st place in the MacGuffin Poet Hunt contest in 2012 and 1st place in the Sixfold Contest in 2013. My chapbook, A Thin Thread of Water was published in 2010 by Finishing Line Press.

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