Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Ali Doerscher

Milk + Honey, Whiskey + Ginger Ale

well    that’s how it goes

weather always lingering too long

a casual blue       fourteen percent grey

there were any number of things

we could have been talking about:

the stiffness of morning

the best way to purchase stamps

how to walk great distances

but then     days and days of rain

I said     let’s keep sleeping together


it was like a finch swallowing milkweed

it was probably bored

Temporal, Flickerlike

I remember        I lost the clear night

you had tied around my thigh

and today               I hate you

even though winter is far away

I’m living in a low voice

I’m throwing the hillside

making a mess of myself and running

around with one eye closed:

it requires the ability to judge distance

his body                firmly in order

looking for blood in the sunlight


what you said was careless

death at the cape      and everywhere

tiny birds making false landings

embers felling leaves like feathers like

bodies fumbling underwater

and disappearing is always simplest

in massachusetts         is darkest blue

                                I wanted to ask

if I looked any different standing up

if dizziness is an affliction of the lips

                                     and if I were

to catalogue our weaknesses by name

it would be            scoured or hysterical

tenuously coupled        lungs blistered

in the young light and the snow

in december

you lost your last cigarette

you told me not to die

you picked burnt leaves from your carpet

inside a fever dream

we made ourselves a home movie:

                me, plunging the hawk

                through the bedsheets

                 and of course you’re miserable

like a steady brow

like home

if one of us were to stand up

our inflections would no longer be

compatible             so equivocal

                          death at the cape

so we stop at the liquor store

I hold the flashlight

while you fill your tires with air

you’re miserable     of course

(if I am standing then you are standing

and we both look the same)

and if this is darkest blue

we are coupled by blood and anxiety

thick and red like molasses on tobacco

like being pulled to bed at 4 am

because it is not yet december

and somehow this means we are safe

I rip a shard of amber glass from my palm

but the skin is still translucent

in the fever dream I tell you

winter lives in naked bodies, an ode

to sex or death or birds

or something

what I really mean is

you drive beautifully at night

Neither Here Nor There

I’m still pulling blood out from under things

                nails and telescopes and cotton swabs

it’s sweet         it really is

how you try to smile one tooth at a time...

I made you a sweater

and you didn’t even know it was yours

when you asked if you could have it

I haven’t gotten it all sorted out yet

how one slow mechanism is wedded to the next

                a convulsive fit of the lips and then

it is april and I am all liquored up

basking in the tickled heather

                               one crushed thing after the other

Ali Doerscher is currently working towards her undergraduate degree in Sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design. Other recent publications of her poetry include the Columbia Poetry Review and CutBank.

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