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

Donna Levine Gershon

Everything You Google

Everything you Google comes back to haunt

you when you least expect it, like when you’re

trolling an atheism website and little pictures

of wedding bands mystically appear on the left

hand of the page because earlier you had Googled

funky wedding bands not because you are about

to be married but because you have been married

for almost fifteen godly years, in awe

that anything this tenuous-seeming wakes up

every morning in the same place, still willing

to commit to dinner that night, if not at six sharp

then as soon as is humanly, ethically possible what

with the meetings and the errands and the man-

dated receptions of wine and women in the work-

place and you see that you don’t like any of them

better than what you have, with the ribs

of gold that you found in a nothing jewelry store

in Clearwater because you were not sophisticated

enough to look into bespoke bands hammered out

like prenups, more things you never thought about,

like God while he was still living in the house

you grew up in, before divorce split the synagogue

into his and hers, before the void led you not to

temptation exactly but to this man who comes

custom as if an engine beyond belief remembered

what you had been searching for.


For Helen

Gray feathers in the rearview mirror

flutter finally to rest along the shoulders.

Your hair—thin and silver like birdsong,

long into your decades of denying

yourself nourishment—gone.

Delicate creature I cannot swerve to avoid,

you are free now of hollow bones and highways.

No more pecking at seeds and berries.

Yit’gadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba.

I alone count gulls for the minyan.

The 7-Up Man

He comes every Thursday

to restock her shelves.

He goes straight for the 2-liters

like he owns the place.

He works quickly:

Highway 9 brings truckers,

beachgoers, locals, all thirsty.

He looked at her once

as she walked out of the walk-in

freezer wearing the dried sweat

of every clerk since 1920

who had donned the community parka

to uncrate the ice cream

and said, “Nice negligee.”

No summer shift manager

has ever needed delivery more,

walking home to her mother’s house,

his Coca-Cola eyes in her sight,

Jazz Age perspiration hanging

like a Billie Holiday song

on her shining, tired skin.


Bat at my head,

I don’t care if the tangling in the hair thing

is a myth,

I believe it,

I believe it

with my skin,

with the back of my neck,

with my soul,

that your sonar

is on the fritz,

that the frizz of my hair

has crossed

from annoying

to perilous

and that once we are

enmeshed, frantic,

your needle teeth

will inject me

with whatever the cave

has bred

as I fly blind

across the field

from this day,

when my mother

has died,

to the next,

when we take up

the heavy shovel

and heave clods

of earth

onto the box

we have put her in.

Mother Earth, South Carolina

August, and the house shifts, a pediment drops to the pavement,

and we bring the baby home from the hospital

to rock in the craterlet the earth has carved for her.

A different August, 1886, landslide on the Ashley River.

Walls failed and fell, fissures birthed new meanings of the earth.

We tell ourselves we are rocks, but all that means

is we respond to stress by breaking apart.

I split like rock to bring you, my earthenware,

Earth-wary, to a place of rending and liquefaction:

One thing melts into a mother.

Charleston felt aftershocks for thirty-five years.

Any mother could have told them to expect that.

Donna Levine Gershon’s poetry has appeared in storySouth, qarrtsiluni, Literary Mama, and Kakalak: Anthology of Carolina Poets, among other publications. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she works as a freelance editor.

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