Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2014    fiction    all issues


Anne Rankin-Kotchek
Letter to the World
from a Dying Woman
& other poems

Sara Graybeal
Ghetto City
& other poems

Tee Iseminger
& other poems

Lisa Beth Fulgham
After They Sold the Cows...
& other poems

Mary Mills
The Practical Knowledge
of Women
& other poems

Monika Cassel
Waldschatten, Muttersprache
& other poems

Michael Fleming
To a Fighter
& other poems

Daniel Stewart
& other poems

John Glowney
& other poems

Hannah Callahan
The Ptarmigan Suite
& other poems

Lee Kisling
How the Music Came
to My Father
& other poems

Jose A. Alcantara
Finding the God Particle
& other poems

David A. Bart
Veteran’s Park
& other poems

Greg Grummer
War Reportage
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

J. K. Kitchen
Anger Kills Himself
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Man Who Wished
He Was Lego
& other poems

Jessica M. Lockhart
Scylla of the Alabama
& other poems

James P. Leveque
Three Films of Jean Painlevé
& other poems

Kelsey Charles
& other poems

Therese L. Broderick
& other poems

Lane Falcon
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Bird
& other poems

Phoebe Reeves
Every Petal
& other poems

David Livingstone Fore
Eternity is a very long time...
& other poems

Tim Hawkins
Northern Idyll
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
On the Pillow Where You Lie
& other poems

Joey DeSantis
Baby Names
& other poems

Cameron Price
Every Morning
& other poems

David Walker
Sestina for Housesitting
& other poems

Helen R. Peterson
& other poems

Writer's Site

David Walker

Sestina for Housesitting

Don’t you feel like the forgotten piece

of luggage? The product of heel-

scraping left on the rug before

they all go off to forget

the humdrum. Bottle

of cleaner in hand

like a sidearm weapon, you finger

the trigger. It brings you peace.

Much more than that bottle

of Jack. Far from healed,

you just want to forget

the mess you found just before

you went to bed. You think of before

all this, when “scrubbing on hands

and knees” was only a forgetful

turn of phrase acquired piece-

meal from easily-healed

fairy tale characters bottle-

necked into life-lessons. You think of the bottled

up frustration that needs outlet before

they return, the time you had to walk heel-

to-toe along a night-lit road, arms

outstretched like traipsing. Piece

of cake, you boasted, forgetting

this cop had no sense of humor. Forget

drinking yourself numb. You need to bottle,

compartmentalize each and every piece

of envy you have of them before

you snap and decide to hand

the dog off to the heels

of a stranger. You say he’s a good dog. Heel,

you demonstrate, hoping the dog didn’t forget

that command. Seal it with a shake of the hand.

Good riddance. Instead, you grab the bottle

of cleaner again and spray. You knew before-

hand that you would be leaving pieces

of yourself scattered around like shattered bottles

and they would come home and say, “Before

you leave, just so you know, you forgot a piece.”

David Walker teaches English at both the high school and college level. He is the founding editor of Golden Walkman Magazine, and has poetry and fiction appearing in several literary magazines including Drunk Monkeys, Words Dance, and others. He has a chapbook forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Living in Westfield with a hyperactive cat that puts holes in all his window screens, he is married to the love of his life, Caitlin.

Dotted Line