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Dots by Erica Trabold

Winner of the 2020 Ghost Proposal Chapbook Contest. Edition of 100. Printed + assembled by Cold Cube Press in Seattle, WA. Cover design by Sam Moss. Sold out.


Once, I had a polka-dotted frame, but I never called it that.

I called it my body.

I called it my skin.

Freckles jumped from my cheekbones, sprouting up and over my shoulders, in the summertime. I wished they looked like that all year. In the colder, busier months they would fade into just another blank page.

The summer, though, took maintenance. I went to the pool every day I could, rode my bike (towel around my neck) through town, down the big hill, around the grain elevator, across and underneath the highway, on the paved bike path to the park.

I got in line—

and waited for the door to open.

About the Author

Erica Trabold is a Nebraska-born essayist. Her debut essay collection, Five Plots, was selected by John D’Agata as the inaugural winner of the Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize and awarded a 2019 Nebraska Book Award for nonfiction. Dots, winner of the Ghost Proposal’s 5th Annual Chapbook Contest, was published in 2021.

Trabold’s lyric essays appear in Brevity, The Rumpus, Passages North, The Collagist, South Dakota Review, Seneca Review, Essay Daily, and elsewhere. A graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Erica writes and teaches in central Virginia, where she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Sweet Briar College.