Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2019    fiction    all issues


Cover Florian Klauer

Meli Broderick Eaton
Three Mississippi
& other poems

Andrea Reisenauer
What quiet ache do you wear?
& other poems

Alex Wasalinko
Two Dreams of Vegas
& other poems

AJ Powell
The Grammar Between Us
& other poems

Emma Flattery
Our Shared Jungle, Mr. Conrad
& other poems

Nathaniel Cairney
The Desert Cometh
& other poems

Sarah W. Bartlett
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
Jaybird by the Fence
& other poems

Brandon Hansen
& other poems

Andy Kerstetter
The Inferno Lessons
& other poems

Michael Fleming
Space Walk
& other poems

Richard Cole
Perfect Corporations
& other poems

Susan Bouchard
Circus Performers
& other poems

Edward Garvey
Nine Songs of Love
& other poems

Mehrnaz Sokhansanj
Sea of Detachment
& other poems

Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius
& other poems

Claudia Skutar
Homage II
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
Knitting Sample
& other poems

Megan Skelly
Puzzle Box Ghazal
& other poems

Tess Cooper
& other poems

Greg Tuleja
& other poems

Catherine R. Cryan
& other poems

Tess Cooper


Dry Texas makes me remember that I have been away from

water too long,

Spent too long in drought of the earth and love; lack of rain

in clear California and lack of touch in sweating Cincinnati

In the valley I discovered my need of drink to quench my

head and fill my heart,

and Taurus born, it is back in the cracks of the south

where bulls strike the earth with sharp heavy hooves that I

remember the long lost echos of the ocean,

Her cool memory engraved in stone, big darkness, living


Sink to your knees and run your fingers into the earth here

and you will feel me,

handfuls of clay without water, stolen and parched, face

upturned and thirsty tongue seeking rain

No Storm

I live in what used to be an old motel, new boards

nailed over the same rusted guts

Sometimes I go knocking on her old bones and hear no


The cactus in the courtyard is dead, not even spiders seem

to dwell in corners

Fake wooden floors where no dust falls, but there’s

something in the walls

Held here like me, cycled in the same day with the same

thunderstorm ever approaching

I’m drunk and awake at midnight when the sirens sound,


Shoeless and empty, I go out to be filled with what I know

comes from a warning sky

I consult with a neighbor; cling to the weak railing but

nothing falls and neither do I

Inside bed takes me but sleep does not come, waiting for my

storm as the sirens scream for retreat

Into the reaches of the night they wail but my love it does

not come.


Awake and burning


I am an arkangel—a god. A thousand terrible eyes and wings

of flame, I devour men and from my lips spill black ash

Forever running, a Hart’s heavy beating heart

Full of life, bitter life, hammering at the walls of my chest as

I lay in bed

Never rest, not even in sleep; wakeful eyes and clawed

fingers clenched tight into flesh.

Bruising. I am nothing and at once everything, the echoing

emptiness of a dry nautilus and it’s chambers filling

with vast ocean.

Release me.


I am electricity, bright in the night

Sleepless buzzing in the hollow of my chest. There is no

heart there

Only the knowledge that there will never be forgiveness on

my tongue

I am holy, but only in the way of suffering—only in the

Catholic sense they say

I am the crossroads witch, I live in the betweens, the “if”s

and the insecurity of the unknown

Tonight I am prometheus shackled,

straining against the chains of another day as a failed god

Another night awake


Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned

Dragged you to bed despite the white on your collar

Licked you with the flames of hell and

showed you what falling feels like

Adam’s first wife, we are wed under the eves of redwoods

though in your eyes that will not do and I pray for a white cotton dress

A promise:

I will bring no squalling life to this red earth

Will not raise it in the church

I will remove my prayer veil only for a wedding veil

Shelve my pagan ways only for a ring

A wolf will raise wolves

Pray you domesticate me

Tess Cooper is a writer, artist, and sometimes bear living in the woods outside Detroit. She creates beauty from pain and, historically, gets into fistfights with everyone.

Dotted Line