Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2013    fiction    all issues


Alysse Kathleen McCanna
& other poems

Peter Nash
Shooting Star
& other poems

Katherine Smith
House of Cards
& other poems

David Sloan
On the Rocks
& other poems

Alexandra Smyth
Exoskeleton Blues
& other poems

John Glowney
The Bus Stop Outside Ajax Bail Bonds
& other poems

Andrea Jurjević O’Rourke
It Was a Large Wardrobe...
& other poems

Lisa DeSiro
Babel Tree
& other poems

Michael Fleming
& other poems

Michael Berkowitz
As regards the tattoo on your wrist
& other poems

Michael Brokos
Landscape without Rest
& other poems

Michael H. Lythgoe
Orpheus In Asheville
& other poems

John Wentworth
morning people
& other poems

Christopher Jelley
Double Exposure
& other poems

Catherine Dierker
dinner party
& other poems

William Doreski
Hate the Sinner, Not the Sin
& other poems

Robert Barasch
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Red Bird
& other poems

Anne Graue
& other poems

Mariah Blankenship
Tub Restoration
& other poems

Paul R. Davis
& other poems

Philip Jackey
Garage drinking after 1989
& other poems

Karen Hoy
A Naturalist in New York
& other poems

Gary Sokolow
Underworld Goddess
& other poems

Michal Mechlovitz
The Early
& other poems

Henry Graziano
Last Apple
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
& other poems

Roger Desy
& other poems

R. G. Evans
& other poems

Frederick L. Shiels
Driving Past the Oliver House
& other poems

Richard Sime
Berry Eater
& other poems

Jennifer Popoli
Generations in a wine dark sea
& other poems

Writer's Site

Michael Berkowitz

As regards the tattoo on your wrist

It’s not that I don’t believe you. Rather,

call it some natural curiosity,

born of a childhood’s nights

spent beneath the starry curve

of the sky, that makes me

want to discover

for myself

whether Orion really is

the only constellation

traced out on the curves

of your skin.

Ad Cassandram

Let them come with their black

ships, princess. Let them come

and let them take back

what is theirs. You are not theirs.

I will love you and I will protect you.

Let them come with their black

horses. Let them harness them

to their chariots, let them rein

in their flaring nostrils

with bit and bridle.

Let them ring the dust

around our city

with the tracks of our dead.

It will take more than horses

to bring down our walls.

I will love you and I will protect you,

my beloved. My beloved,

beloved also of the deathless

gods. Most beloved by the most

deathless: master of the strings

of bow and lyre.

Cursing the aim of another’s arrows, he cursed your own aim: that it might always be true, but never find its mark.

Let them cover the sky

with a dozen dozen arrows.

I will love you no less

among the shadows. But

do not put your trust in shadows

and in dreams only you can see.

There is no one else who will.

I will love you and I will protect you.

I will love you but I will not believe you.

Begotten of the Spleen

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him an help meet for him.
—Genesis 2:18

And so God reached past Adam’s ribs,

and from his spleen was woman born.

And gone from Adam was the melancholy

that the Lord had seen in him,

but for Eve there was nothing

except that same sadness.

There is a way in which you look

off into the distance

that weighs against the lightness

of the heart behind my ribs

in your presence, that I can describe

only as the sinking of swallows,

who do not remember this

morning’s sunrise, into evening.



         (i said


he fell

           on his head (she said

it’s just as well

                           too soon to tell

(they said

what sent him off to hell

                                            or heaven (hell

we said

               he liked his drink too well

and so he fell

                        (they said


there’s nothing more to tell

so toast to heaven for the dead

and for the living, well,



When you think

about it, if you

think about it,

what did us

in wasn’t your

anger or my

apathy, but that

if in the second line.

Michael Berkowitz was born in Michigan, raised in Maryland, and earned his degree in Classical Latin and Greek from Oberlin College. He now lives in Somerville, Massachusetts where he makes his living as a web developer and occasional musician while studying poetry and circus arts. He is delighted to have his poems debut in Sixfold.

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