Sonnets of Propinquity
Dennis Mahagin

We whistle on the way to work, you and me on the number 43
bus, outbound from Fourth and Salmon Streets, I know you
on account of your favorite seat across from Rear Exit Door, how stealthily
you watch the people get offóamid sucking hydraulic sounds, a whiff of blue
ozone, bitter diesel, then BANG!óthose doors slam shut, harder and tighter
at the seams it would seem each time than the time before, and time before
that … I know you wear your iPod ear buds so snug behind funky snow-white
beret and barrette, tapping black engineer work boots in perfect time with your
Toadies and Golden Earring CDs, that sometimes you even sing along, sweet
falsetto, so very softly pitched like teapot once removed from perpetual heat:

No more speed Iím almost there … Behind the boat house … yeah
We got a thing, thatís called … My Dark Secret … Yeah … Iíll show you,
Gotta keep cool now we gotta take care … I can promise you … y e a h,
Last car to pass, here I go … Youíll be as beautiful, ooooooh


Ooooh … I know you fashion shiny ribbed hubcaps on graveyard shift
at a Jantzen Beach machine shop, that your little nut-brown lunch sack
holds always an over-ripe peach, Maraschino Ka Bobs on toothpicks,
water chestnuts, gin and minerals in hip flask … Trick or Treat vibe begat
by me in the key of Don Quixotic and auto erotically as Kerouac in a small
Spiral Notebook Fever Scrawl, burning through the orangey glaze of three
now-useless Sharpie Magic Markers, which I toss NOW, in turn, all
of these Sharpies, sad dried-up useless as boar tits on floorboard, Sharpies
shoved beneath the front wheel well of the 43 bus, crossing Steel Bridge, air
brakes squealing—like electrocuted ferret—at my specially designated Rose
Garden stop, where at last this righteous ensemble thing thatís ensnared
us, I daresay for close to a month, if not more, baby, bubbling so—as it grows,
still, sprung in hydraulic door gap at my designated stop, red vines on Radar Love,
my low-rider ass crack limned by your engineer boot, so go on, dear, rear back

and shove.


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