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Dennis Mahagin

Don’t Want
 
Air Sickness
is a walk in the park
compared to 
withdrawal, they say
we are free to 
move, to fall
about the cabin. 
I have a nightmare
I meet her boyfriend
while standing in line at the Walgreens pharmacy; 
he lets me know in low, burning tones
the way she likes it,
the way it was going
to stay, he said, lightly gripping
my elbow like a prison guard
leading a skel
back to his cell. “she makes me
crazy enough to bust a motherfucker,” 
he says, “and you don’t want that, you don’t 
want it here, right?” I shake my head, then
nod, as my turn comes 
at the Walgreens
window; 
the pharmacist slides my package 
across the counter. We hit it, that 
turbulence, more and more 
turbulence, yet the woman
in question stays right there, 
in my mind, 
a kind of living grief in bas relief; 
then I’m back 
on the plane. We continue 
our climb. 
I whisper 
to the flight attendant 
struggling in the aisle,
as she’s swaying there, 
with a tight-lipped
smile and her tray of drinks. I say, 
listen, I say, listen I don’t want 
this anymore.

Dennis Mahagin is a writer and musician from Montana.
His poems have appeared in magazines such as Exquisite 
Corpse, Juked, Thrush Journal, DecomP, Oddball, Unlikely 
Stories, 3 A,M., Stirring: A Literary Collection, and  previously at Live Nude Poems. Dennis has published two poetry books:Grand Mal, from Rebel Satori Press, and Longshot & Ghazal, from Mojave River Press. Dennis is the poetry editor for Frigg Magazine. He runs music store in a town called Deer Lodge.

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