Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2015    fiction    all issues


Cover Peter Rawlings

J. H Yun
& other poems

Colby Hansen
Killing Jar #37
& other poems

Melissa Bond
Freud's Asparagus
& other poems

Jane Schulman
When Krupa Played Those Drums
& other poems

Susan F. Glassmeyer
First Moon of a Blue Moon Month
& other poems

Melissa Tyndall
& other poems

Micah Chatterton
& other poems

Emily Graf
& other poems

Kate Magill
LV Winter, 2015
& other poems

Michael Fleming
Meeting Mrs. Ping
& other poems

Richard Parisio
Brown Creeper
& other poems

Jennifer Leigh Stevenson
Circe in Business
& other poems

Laurel Eshelman
& other poems

Barry W. North
Molotov Cocktail of the Deep South
& other poems

Charles C. Childers
& other poems

Ricky Ray
A Way to Work
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Linda Sonia Miller
Full Circle
& other poems

J. Lee Strickland
Anna's Plague
& other poems

Erin Dorso
In the Kitchen
& other poems

Holly Lyn Walrath
Behind the Glass
& other poems

Jeff Lewis
Charles Ives, A Connecticut Yankee
& other poems

Karen Kraco
Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
& other poems

Rafael Miguel Montes
& other poems

Writer's Site

Micah Chatterton


for Sylvia and her mother

For a nosebleed: drop

something cold, a coin or key,

the length of your back.

Wicked lumbago

needs brown paper ironed hot,

pressed into the small.

To improve eyesight,

pierce your ears and get some gold.

Silver does nothing.

Rheumatism: carry

a young spud in your pocket.

Or soak in Epsom.

Sore throat: tie a wool

stocking round your neck; Father’s

sweaty sock will do.

Linseed, lime for burns.

Boiled onion poultice for ears.

Bread poultice for boils.

Bluebag for bee stings.

Warm cow dung for carbuncle,

or draw the devil

out with a hot glass.

Rub butter on a bumped head,

fig leaf on a bruise.

In case of a cut,

a little whiskey leeches rust.

It’s good to let dogs

lick an open wound,

but only those you know well,

not some thin-boned stray.

Next, to clot the cut,

use cobwebs, fresh cigar ash—

in a pinch, sugar.

Egg water causes warts,

and touching toads. Spin horsehair

around your finger,

or daub with sow thistle.

If that cure fails, steal a piece

of meat. Rub the wart

into the cold chop.

Bury it in the garden.

Tell no one. The flesh

and the wart decay

together. Some say you need

a dead cat. Jabber—

any meat will do.

No, what we make we make in

in burial, in hiding.


Remember this, then.

There is a girl at the edge

of town, window jimmied, slipping

lumps of scrambled egg and hard toast

out onto the damp side of the sill.

Morning fog’s bitten off all

but the nearest branches of the family

sycamore, and the family of crows

living there, chittering, churning

the clouds with their wings.

There’s a line of objects laid neatly

along the dry side of the windowsill:

a pebble, a paper clip, can tabs, beachglass,

earrings, buttons, a cat’s broken femur,

the silver half of a heart.

She waits with her nosetip cold

to the pane, quietly breathing herself

into the swirl of an old man’s beard,

until one by one, dewhooded

and coin-eyed, the crows come

clutching gifts, offering trade.

A Love Poem

What did you see in there? you asked later,

mermaid red hair floating past my pillow.

I saw the way we leaned to kiss, how we

made cairns of our cold feet, spun up shivers

from still places in our bodies, then fell asleep.

Queen of noses, Vitruvian wife, worried

nursemaid to the world’s most delicate dog,

remembrist of first things, spontaneous

cupcake baker, teacher of small children,

teacher of just one unforgotten child—

I thought, What a mother you’ll make, Jenny.

I saw too how your fear would ache into

panic, beebuzzed by unchecked burners, un-

pulled doors, always waiting for a beltfall,

some fate you might, you should have seen coming:

scuffed heels, uncoastered cups, germs or burglars.

So many days you sat in the driveway,

eyes shaking, willing yourself: Turn the key.

Yet, somehow, you loved me enough to risk

my inevitable tremors of grieving.

Somehow, hours ago, weeks pregnant, you leapt

into the shower fully clothed, new shoes

sopping, mascara bruising the porcelain,

to catch me, collapsed by a memory.

I saw you, the mother you’ve always been,

the family I never thought I’d have again.

Dropped Tanka

We all learn one day:

something dropped is something lost.

“Out of reach” means “gone

forever,” bits of childhood locked

in a mirror of pond water.

He watches my mouth, lost,

lost, thrusts against the railing

reaching for the spot

of the splash where the tiger

was thrown, dove, and disappeared.

Once below, all sound

stops. The plastic tiger sinks,

watching a boy cry

by skyfuls its wavering life,

its eternal inch of silt.

Micah Chatterton lives in Riverside, California.

Dotted Line