Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2020    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Winter 20


French silk sample book

Paula Reed Nancarrow
Morning Coffee
& other poems

Jill Burkey
& other poems

Oak Morse
Boys Born out of Blues
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor
Engine Ode
& other poems

Monique Jonath
a mi sheberach
& other poems

Lisa Rachel Apple
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Human Condition
& other poems

Kirsten Hippe-Rychlik
and we are echoes
& other poems

Devon Bohm
& other poems

Jeddie Sophronius
I Rest My Mother Tongue
& other poems

John Delaney
Poem as Map
& other poems

Elizabeth Bayou-Grace
Fire in Paradise
& other poems

In Utero
& other poems

Michelle Lerner
Ode to Exhaustion
& other poems

William French
I Have Never Been
& other poems

Josiah Patterson Wheatley
Coeur de Fleurs
& other poems

Karo Ska
womb song
& other poems

Robyn Joy
& other poems

Han Raschka
Love Language
& other poems

Rebbekah Vega-Romero
The Memory in My Pinky
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont
Europe, too, Came from Somewhere Else
& other poems

Scott Ruescher
At the Childhood Home of Ozzy Osbourne
& other poems

Emily R. Daniel
Visitation Dreams
& other poems

Lindsay Gioffre
Toxicodendron Radicans [Sonnet 1]
& other poems

Writer's Site

Elizabeth Bayou-Grace

The First Winter

Some mornings I have to remind myself that it will all grow back,

no matter how unlikely that seems. The grass is browning

under a layer of alternating melting and icing snow.

My mother calls me to ask if I’m surviving the winter. She wants

to hear both answers. Yes, and no, I’ve always been your southern

child, can we turn up the heat? Instead, R. adds another log.

And of course, yes. As a mother does. Hopes for unimagined

successes. Hopes for family. Even when it isn’t snowing,

the air sometimes ices through and the wind turns solid,

white. The slick surfaces. It’s always a hard winter, the first one.

The doctors said the PAO would give me another ten

to fifteen years on my feet. At 19 and 21, those odds

were favorable. I wasn’t entirely sure that I would therefore

need another. She wants to know if the winter

is sitting inside my hips. Yes, and no. I can feel

the temperature sink, the frost in the blood. As if by

clockwork, the years have passed and I’m struggling

to lift. To rise. To walk those miles. Sometimes,

the valley swallows up all the warmth and the surrounding

Seven Sisters get capped in clarity. A little warmer

there at the glorious freezing top. Before I know

it, everything will be green. Despite me, or with no

regard to how I fare, winter will cease.

Alaska Sonnets


Three woman reasons to pack up & leave:

instead of sun death rose in the morning,

or love swaggered in, or else left. It left.

In Alaska, summer days become nights

become day again. A turning into.

The North Lands become Texas & become

barren, or else blossomed. A turning

away from. Oaken doors, fluid. Glaciers,

permanent. One moment, I was a string

of white pearls kept in his pocket, solid,

precious, possessed. I was made of the land

I lived in. Then, just a body. Woman

was denser, denser & ice-mountain blue.


When the sun sets in Alaska, it does

not dip under the treeline, but hovers

there purpled. Near to, night shuffles but can’t

arrive. Still, tonight I can see it—that

satellite. On the news, they are calling

it Super Moon. Closer, oranged.

It’s been a month, Sean. (Oh-) Alaska

is majestic. An Orca and her child

finned past the boat today. How’s your daughter?

Does she think I’ll come home? Ocean wakes

against the deck. I am a collector.

Salt, mostly. Scrape it off the rails, my cheeks.

Yours, your girl’s. Brine off the teeth, whales.

I’ll start hoarding moons. Purple, too.

Remembering the Day
before My Marriage

Most people are disappointing.

Around me, the ones I have loved fail

to rise and become. Great brains pickled

in jars, to be placed on a shelf.

As if to be used later.

Saved for good company. Silver locked up

in glass cabinets. My mother,

she used to only use the good silver

for the holidays, but she liked

the way it felt on her teeth

better, and one morning

she put it all in the regular drawers.

The silver gets tarnished, a little ugly,

but it still feels better on the teeth.

The good stuff becomes daily wear.

I think for a while there,

I was hoping all the good stuff was to come.

R. was dancing in kitchen / bedroom

in Little Pink House by the river,

as he made us one last late night snack

before we slept unwed

for the last time.

We took it all off the shelves.

The good stuff.

The daily wear.

Oh, Woman—

                          when the saint is a man, when

the saint comes sharp jaw, comes feral and fur,

comes slow motion, takes years to get there, takes

the long way about it, even now, barely

is big hands and bite teeth, when the saint is

a wolf, prey-sure and dawn chasing, prey-sure

and waiting, when the man is canine, when

the beast is body, the body rising

under and into, if you can become

devotion, become devoured, become

a question that lives in the god mouth, be

meat and whine and moan, if you can live here,

in this pause and chase, if you can bear this, that

love is not yours alone, then love you must.

Fire in Paradise

The first time I saw Texas on fire, dazed

and complicit in the driver’s seat, her

clouds rising out over the back of hill

country rising, I thought for a moment,

with such relief: rain.

A break from the sun

and never setting. Maybe by tonight,

I thought with such relief, we’ll sleep. But fire

was eating whatever wind it may. I

used to think living forever young was

the endgame. Under sun, the years swift pass

unnoticed. Fake plastic trees live longest.

No one will tell you when you’re growing sick,

Elizabeth. They’ll say thin. Have you seen

how the summer brays and flaunts? Vogues and screams.

Elizabeth Bayou-Grace is a poet, musician, and activist living in Easthampton, Massachusetts, with her husband,dog, and cat. She received her BA from Warren Wilson College and her MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University. Elizabeth has performed at Round Top Poetry Festival, Wakarusa Music Festival, and ArtOutside. More of her work is forthcoming in a split collection of poetry, Fire In Paradise, co-authored with her father, Steven Lewis, from Read650, in 2021.

Dotted Line