about the author

Dennis Mahagin’s poems and stories appear in Juked, 42opus, Exquisite Corpse, Stirring, Absinthe Literary Review, Keyhole, Night Train, PANK, 3:AM, Storyglossia, Thieves Jargon, and SmokeLong Quarterly, among other publications. He’s also an editor of fiction and poetry at FRiGG Magazine.

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Dollar Bill’s 18 Wheel Satori

Dennis Mahagin

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in memory of Cami Park

The peace that passes
on a Seaside highway
shoulder: she’s wearing large
dark glasses for piloting, this
Anne, or Jan, in her
minivan, one wan

but wild woman at the wheel,
at 90 miles an hour on the right,
sporting ultra bright
sidereal smile... of a midnight spritzed
by pussy willow, a mile from Cannon
Beach, Oregon her Victorian chapeau
nudging shadows from a dome light,
foot-high crown festooned
with peony, snap dragons
of every stripe, pasty fingers
waving at you like anemone,
or krill.

Faster than a speeding
shrug, roof rack loaded with priceless oriental
rugs, the paisley buzzing of cheekbone short hairs
on nape of neck standing straight, as wipers catch
and toss off brow sweat of a runner. Your day-old
monster tires lag, a little tired, but no earthly
way to expire, not this stretch...

How to tell
of the deep red reflectors, swan-like
swimmers, with her shimmer of tail
lights? Winking

right out, a blessing
of sine wave, talisman lollipop
around midnight? Or the air horn you yanked
in her wake, one breaker bellow of hello, Christ’s
own klaxon for its own sake bye—bye ... bye

“Punch it sister,” you whispered
to the night sky smelling of sea salt
and cordite, resurrection even twenty
fifteen vision.

Diamond dusted frost, limning
her exhaust, amniotic from a
distance spanned by

b l i n k ... .. .

of breath, one
pink aura done


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