Fiction In Brief

“Horizontals” by William Doreski


Let’s live in a neutral gray house by the water. Plenty of light, an indigo sea, weedy yellow foreground, and the house hedged by overgrown pasture rose. Horizontals dominate. Even the vertical planes of the house, the slopes of roof, the gables, the two thumbs of chimney crouch behind or between parallel strata.

But the sea—so much breadth and depth looming in the corners of our eyes, even when we look into each other and sigh those long-delayed sighs. One electric pole critiques the horizontals sketching our frontage. Only one, and it has to carry enough power to illuminate the night-distance from Gay’s Head to Cape Hatteras.

As we settle into the house and ourselves we’ll expand like the sea, filling ourselves with sea; and when we sleep after a long day of booming skies we’ll drown into a horizontal dream-world half a planet wide.


William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in various journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His new poetry collection is A Black River, A Dark Fall.