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

Holly Lyn Walrath

Behind the Glass

Reproduction, as you put it, is a biological superlative.

Red wine seeped up to our eyeballs

and spilled out on my cheeks

and splashed onto the loud city lights.

Behind our words stood a glass wall

shored up with ego, youth, mud, and sand.

(The ocean breeze tries to tear it up with its teeth

but in summer like a stalwart old sailor

shipwrecked after his last voyage,

his head rimmed with hoarfrost,

clinging to the salt soaked rocks.)

We live in a world of unfulfilled fairytales.

You were promised I would be dainty

with a size three foot (to fit the glass slipper)

a bell dangling in my skirts,

an apron bow like a present topper

and flowers on my knees

(red and blushing violently).

I was promised you would be tall,

white honored, piney-handed (handy)

golden curled (sweat soaked tendriled)

wearing a coat with three buttons

ruffled feathers beneath,

a popinjay—with a sugar-dusted tongue

and after I tasted you we would fly

into the sun.


promises we made

behind the glass.


I am peeling the crisp brown suits

off of a pair of onions, reproving

for the clock is digging in

between the ribs and marinade,

it hates the night time sour.

I am broken over the boiling vinegar

and sweet-faced green cucumbers,

knobbed and vulgar, peeled away

to meet their maker.

The house—four rooms with bows tied

end to end to counterfeit the confidence of it

concealed behind draperies

that hemorrhage orange daybreak

onto end tables, side tables, console tables.

Pouring out the one beam

like hot lemon meringue filling

in the blinds, I see it as a slanted scowl,

sad thing, keeping out the

bright, keeping me in, custodian.

She Learns How to Disappear

She memorizes the little spaces she could hide in—

the white place between letters on the page,

the dashboard—a blushing radio throne,

the corner of the yard where crows suckle,

the cherry streetlight which creates the rain,

the white blue sky with its open space

where she could be a splinter in the expanse,

fold up like an origami swan,

tuck her face under her wing, blasphemed.

This one thing is clear, she knows

one more day is purgatory.

Two Young Wives

We two sat

on the swing

on the porch

in the house

by Range lake.

We talked about

the future, which

seemed to end in may.

There—in may—an end.

A bridge between our old lives,

where we were pillars

striving to be wood, strong,

to hold up.

Where we were young,

before thirty rose up

and devoured us,

showing its face

at first in secret places

blue starburst veins,

dimpled smile lines.

Cupping hot cups

of blueberry coffee

we watched yellow oak

and brown pine

and red maple

leaves falling.

They never seemed

to reach the ground,

drifting out over the lake

whose surface was pinched

as if by some invisible touch.

And you remarked,

“I see now how a seed

could be spread across the ocean.”


Our bones hollow fingertips feather

pinions tinge with gold.

We hide in silver linings quills

line down cotton scrapbook

nests sinews mold the quiet mess

of a body of light—the light of a body.

We soar into flare—burn brighter

burn a hole with a lighter

and view us in it.

The walls built of sheaves of words

the words cleaved from books

the books penned by a sister’s hand

the hand tiny and sweet serif finite

sand poured over dead, dry ink.

We remnants of light like sunbeam

hoops petals pressed into walls

like men’s mouths who pick

up our light pop it in lick

greasy fingers brush our snow

small and precious off their

charcoal suits.

Holly Lyn Walrath attended the University of Texas at Austin for her BA in English and the University of Denver for her MLA in Creative Writing. She is a freelance editor and the Associate Director of Writespace, a nonprofit literary center in Houston, Texas. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Vestal Review, Literary Orphans, and Pulp Literature, among others. Find her at or @hollylynwalrath

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