Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2017    fiction    all issues


Cover Marija Zaric

Kathryn Merwin
For Aaron, Disenchanted
& other poems

William Stevens
Celestial Bodies
& other poems

Kendra Poole
Take-Off, or The Philosophy of Leaving
& other poems

AJ Powell
Mama Atlas
& other poems

Matt Farrell
Waves in the dark
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
Eating a Horsemeat Sandwich at Astana Airport 
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
& other poems

Joshua Levy
Venezuela Evening
& other poems

Ryan Lawrence
Vegan Teen Daughter vs. Worthless Dad
& other poems

George Longenecker
Yard Sale
& other poems

Susanna Kittredge
My Heart
& other poems

Morgan Gilson
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Annihilation of Bees
& other poems

Taylor Bell
Browsing Tinder in an Aldi
& other poems

David Anderson
Continental Rift
& other poems

Charles McGregor
The Boys That Don’t Know
& other poems

Cameron Scott
Ashes to Smashes, Dust to Rust
& other poems

Kenneth Homer
Inferno Redux
& other poems

Alice Ashe
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Marriage's Weekly Schedule
& other poems

Kim Alfred
Soul Eclipse
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor

Historic Faces

Grandma has a chin

so sharply contoured

you can grab the point

and shake her ’til it’s 1956

when my parents first met

at that gravel yard

where she had a chance

to stop them

avert their eyes

interrupt, or feign a faint, or play a trombone

packed in the Ford’s trunk

for just such an emergency

to avoid a lineage of trouble

today: in 2017, where it’s still upsetting.

Grandpa has a bland mustache

not really long or short

a handlebar or tightly-trimmed model

not white or gray or paint-by-number red

just colorless and present

like the many drab Easters the grandkids

suffered through

inside that Cincinnati house

Grandpa was always too polite

to say anything about Grandma’s funny chin

or her tense and sad way of doing things

in the crumbs of a shortbread and tea evening.

The Mothers of Reykjavik

leave their babies outside. When I saw, I reported a crime: Abandoned Children!

on . . . every street? outside . . . every shop? the cop,
in some manner of hybrid language I understood
only through his disappointed tone, told me that americans and icelanders

are not the same. that here,

the mothers take care of all the babies, and the carriage sleepers would be just fine

while caregivers looked at sulfur coasters or goat soaps inside, because retail transactions

are “very important” on an island country

where citizens take so little shit

they proudly eat their national bird

and serve whale in restaurants

because both are nearby and free

and deliciously prepared with oil glazes

while a fellow american tourist, noticing today’s controversial specials,

declares her independence with a shot of birch schnapps

to honor our eagles and daycare centers

back home

Marriage’s Weekly Schedule

the men who brought my stove

—heavy and expensive and the season’s bestseller—

arrived on a Wednesday, after the neighbor brought donuts

from that bakery you never tried

because it’s closed on Saturdays

when you are free for cake explorations.

She brought the donuts

because she knew I was sad. But the men, they did not care.

The men said: will this fit? is the gas on? where is the broom

because we must sweep this space first

while the neighbor

seeing my preheated tears

took the broom and said, “I will listen to you, men.

I will clean. I will make this work.”

While He, the one who baked my tears,

on Tuesday, Monday, and Sunday,

worked in Europe

and also wondered if the new stove would fit

from his lunchtime spot by a quaint canal

or how much resale

hot appliances fetch

should the house sale be divided in two.


I saw an eagle

bald and unabashedly soaring

like the heroes we fly our flags for

after they are old, and march in Main Street parades

where we stand and clap, feeling at once connected and removed

because we only know civil liberty wars now

not territorial disputes

of which this eagle had none,

snagging a field rabbit right along the interstate

just past the edge of town where we take our grass clippings,

root vegetables, filthy livestock straw, and used espresso clumps imported from Cuba,

because we are responsible, composting citizens now, who share and trade.

I saw an eagle

in a wild act of instinct from my roving analysis station,

but I did not tell you, even though you were beside me in the Volkswagen

looking east out your window, perhaps wondering if Germany has a national bird,

or admiring the mild unplaceable drawl of the radio newscaster who reports in birdsong

with high trills for good weather and whoop-whoops for the high school sports team

who always wins the home games.

I saw an eagle

but I did not tell you,

because I wanted a bit of splendor

and majesty, familiarity and rarity, all to myself

that lovely day last summer, when the oaks bent to hear our car wheels

push the ground, shaking with concern that we returned.

When I Leave

I have to lose twenty or thirty pounds and practice requisite

“self-care” which may mean eating soil-grown earthy

composted straw for holistic positive attention from my peer

group of mid-30s mothers who are dullish white with satiny

kitchen cupboards and semantically invented corporate

titles, because if I am not at once smaller and bigger

there will be no more of me left to give

the one who arrives after you

and I think he will get here soon

because even though I have couple’s therapy alone since

“the unit was beyond help”; even if my nose blackheads

don’t diminish with charcoal and I only burn electric;


or because

and should I never see you again

I will yawn the great sigh

of Christmas

with a different monogrammed wreath

but the same

painted pinecones

fashioned to a new front door

bright blue and finally,

my own

Kimberly Sailor is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Recorded A Cappella Review Board. She makes her home in Mount Horeb, WI, where she is an elected official on the school board, fosters rescue dogs, and keeps a lively backyard chicken coop. Kimberly Sailor is the author of the novel The Clarinet Whale, as well as other works of fiction and poetry, and an in-progress children’s book.

Dotted Line