Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2018    fiction    all issues


Cover Elena Koycheva

Bryce Emley
Asking Father What’s at the End
& other poems

AJ Powell
& other poems

Faith Shearin
& other poems

Claire Van Winkle
& other poems

Sarah W. Bartlett
Summer Cycles
& other poems

Nooshin Ghanbari
& other poems

Meli Broderick Eaton
The Afterlives of Leaves
& other poems

Jeddie Sophronius
& other poems

Paula Bonnell
In Winter, By Rail
& other poems

Addison Van Auken Waters
& other poems

Daniel Sinderson
& other poems

Andrew Allport
All Nature Will Fable
& other poems

Marte Stuart
What an Insult Time Is
& other poems

Matthew Parsons
My Father as an Inuit Hunter
& other poems

Emily Bauer
Gently, Gently
& other poems

Bruce Marsland
A once lovelorn bard’s final journey
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor
Night Makers
& other poems

Isabella Skovira
Lawless Conservation
& other poems

Juan Pablo González
Colombia, 1928
& other poems

Molly Pines
The Pillbug
& other poems

Jamie Marie
On the Lake
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
If You Show Me Yours
& other poems

Bill Newby
Tuesdays at The Seagate's Atlantic Grille
& other poems

Elder Gideon
Male Initiation Rites
& other poems

Joel Holland
Dear Gi-Gi
& other poems

Martha R. Jones
How Lewis Carroll Met Edgar Allan Poe
& other poems

Writer's Site

Jamie Marie

On the Lake

As we float above, hunger inspires us to great lengths.

Bearing down on an offering from the local grocery store,

we didn’t know the “right” way

to coax a pomegranate. We hacked—

one step up from rocks, with a wicked sharp bottle opener.

Each garnet aril a juicy heart

salvaged from the bleached, pitted husk.

We tossed those white remnants to the water,

a lazy offering to the gods.

The azure sky darkened. “You know,

Persephone was trapped in the underworld

after eating one of these buggers . . .”

Your fish-bone print bikini turned sinister;

your pale skin blistered

where I’d been too timid to rub in sunscreen.

Though smiles still flickered like silver minnows

as we sought the hidden stars on our way back—

lying to be with you,

that would truly be hell.

Waning Interest

This was the first time

I didn’t steal a glance at your house

while going by on my way to work.

Nothing personal of course, just in a hurry

just like we’ve both been before, during, and after

the time we finally moved closer.

Everyone’s just busy, don’t take it personally—

but it’s a little hard not to feel defeated

when there’s so much lonely time on the road.

When we eventually meet again,

we just have to pretend everything’s fine

(though we never had to pretend as much before)

because there’s no way we could catch each other up

on all those moments of loneliness missed

by not being closer anymore.


Note: X-linked Myopathy with Excessive Autophagy (XMEA) is an uncommon form of muscular dystrophy. It is usually passed down through the women and may affect their male children.

And the Lord said unto them:

let an angel mark some of your children

with blood to spare them;

let the males of your line be more vulnerable

to this defect (like Pharaoh’s own).

This will come with tides of regret, a flood

of hesitance—have you no faith,

o fallen woman, or do you wisely brace

yourself against the plagues of medical bills?

Which will you be then, a Jonah or Job—

complaining and worrying over nothing and

roiling in the centrifugal whirl

or gratefully praising the good that remains?

Either way, you’ll probably still feel betrayed,

bereft of a vindication for your indulgent tears.


By far more pleasant than other types of small scale smoke,

rivaled only by the earthy cracklings of bonfires.

A part of the charred stick droops, a fragrant pendulum

that drips ashes below (a dry puddle of grit),

as the pale smoke spirals into ribboned arabesques.

Whenever I watch these lackadaisical trails pushed gently

in the air, I think of Sister Rita, who admitted in whispers

to me and my fellow first graders that she would watch

the incense smoke while the other sisters prayed each night.

I remember wondering, even then, what was wrong

with gazing on something beautiful, the thin strips like gauzy tulle.

The Resistance of Memory

My grandma used to paint with oils

until she grew tired of warning her seven children

and all their friends that streamed through the house

to be careful they didn’t smudge the canvases.

My mother idolized her cousin who went to art school

and when she went on fishing trips with dad and me,

she brought colored pencils and sketched wildflowers.

I flickered back and forth between them,

reeling in bluegill and drawing my own crooked daisies.

I often watched Bob Ross with grandma

in the room with her largest surviving painting:

a cabin’s window the only light given to a shadowed forest path.

Mom mentioned dad had been so good, he could have done

comics professionally, sharp and photorealistic.

Her cross-stitch picture of a bobcat that won $25

at the county fair hung in the hallway.

Years later, one of the only questions grandma could still ask,

when she thought the sunset caught the house on fire each night, was

“Are you still drawing?”

Jamie Marie holds an MA in Literature and recently rediscovered her passion for library work, book repair, and book arts. She was active in a writing group with her high school friends, unofficially published in their collective anthologies, and previously published in her college’s literary magazine. Growing up in a Catholic Appalachian family gave her an interesting perspective on things before broadening her horizons. She lives with her spouse and their two cats.

Dotted Line