Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Fall 2013    fiction    all issues


Chris Joyner
Wrestlemania III
& other poems

Carey Russell
Visiting Hours
& other poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Cabinet of Wonders
& other poems

Jonathan Travelstead
Prayer of the K-12
& other poems

Jennifer Lowers Warren
Our Daughter's Skin
& other poems

Jeff Burt
The Mapmaker's Legend
& other poems

Patricia Percival
Giving in to What If
& other poems

Toni Hanner
& other poems

Christopher Dulaney
& other poems

Suzanne Burns
Window Shopping
& other poems

Katherine Smith
Mountain Lion
& other poems

Peter Kent
Surliness in the Green Mountains
& other poems

William Doreski
Gathering Sea Lavender
& other poems

Huso Liszt
Fresco, The Forlorn Virgin...
& other poems

Clifford Hill
How natural you are
& other poems

R. G. Evans
& other poems

David Kann
Dead Reckoning
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Music of As Is
& other poems

Tori Jane Quante
Creatio ex Materia
& other poems

G. L. Morrison
Baba Yaga
& other poems

Joe Freeman
In a Wood
& other poems

George Longenecker
Bear Lake
& other poems

Benjamin Dombroski
South of Paris
& other poems

Ryan Kerr
& other poems

Josh Flaccavento
Glen Canyon Dam
& other poems
& other poems

Christine Stroud
& other poems

Abraham Moore
Inadvertent Landscape
& other poems

Chris Haug
Cow with Parasol
& other poems

Mariah Blankenship
Fiberglass Madonna
& other poems

Emily Hyland
The Hit
& other poems

Sam Pittman
Growth Memory
& other poems

Alex Linden
The Blues of In-Between
& other poems

Bobby Lynn Taylor
& other poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Alia Neaton
Cosmogony I
& other poems

Elisa Albo
Each Day More
& other poems

Noah B. Salamon
& other poems

Winner of $200 for 2nd-place-voted Poems

Carey Russell

Visiting Hours

Let’s build a tent of sweaters

and huddle like bullfrogs.

Come snuggle so close to me

you can hear my hair

chaff against your skull.

The sky is a dying violet

veined in silent oaks.

I leave you my voice

in nurses’ footsteps climbing

up the white linoleum.

That and clean socks.

Almostleaves haze about these

late March branches. They candle

to green in the last reaches

of the sunset before winking out.

Is that what you thought

your death would look like?

I am still coming home

to your hanging shirts.


Through muscled roots, past black spring

               soil, I buried your old dog.

Her old dog, you would say, watching him

               search the house for her, hopeful,

her clothes still in the closet, hair still

               in the brush. You still slept then

in linens embroidered in tight stitches,

               her initials rising like scars. Now pale

ovals and rectangles hang where her

               pictures had, shadows of those

boxed photographs you still avoid.

               This is the season of her

dying. And deep into hard earth that scours

               the shovel, I buried the dog.


At the end of summer the egret stands

               where the green reeds blacken

into deep. White and alone, velvet

                              he greets

               cranberry vines

crumpling his gown then smoothing it.

                                 His yellow metal eye,

layered by millions of years, the unbroken

               clouds of a storm, and all

                         the weight that keeps You

from me and holds us to the earth.

Egret     tell me you’ve met a god

   so reckless that he will love

us all     equally.

After Hours

Clever sticks scratch the liver

spotted lake, the first green

unraveling. She is left.

Clouds cross her gaze

and a few unassembled stars.

How cold it is in this house.

These inescapable thoughts,

all that can and cannot be

healed, how and how long.

It is all still now, her vision

washed out. A history carved

in her feet and emptied space.

All night long the room shifts

to fit the absence. An act

of god could shake her,

a tremor in the earth

of her body and the stretch of

water so black it burns.

Into the Valley

I returned home for this, an Appalachian

               valley where once-green hills hold

the breath of the dead between them and lift

               from each morning a fresh bandage

of mist. I watched the lowering, her coffin

               rocking into the ground, a cradle

swaddled in gravel and dirt. Early fog sank in

               so dense I could tear it like bread.

The gaze of the mourners followed me,

               their eyes black scattering birds.

A fine ice dusted, silently silvered

               my hair into my mother’s.

Cupping my hands, I gathered cold globes

               of breath, watched them whisper away.

Do the dead hold their mouths in their hands

               like this to know what is left of them?

When I left, I took the valley with me,

               the train slicing the fields, leaving

its stiff suture. She is survived by me.

Carey Russell graduated with honors from the University of Virginia with degrees in English Literature and Mathematics. She moved to New York after graduation to work in Environmental Engineering at Columbia University. She now works as a writer and researcher at Columbia’s Office of Alumni and Development and is currently pursuing an MFA at Columbia. Her work has most recently appeared in American Athenaeum, the Cumberland River Review, and Vex Literary Journal.

Dotted Line