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Poetry #431
(published April 23, 2009)
The Love Song of Sully Sullenberger
by Dennis Mahagin
". . . I saw a plane coming down the Hudson in a very controlled fashion. It touched down in a perfect 'rear-first' approach. It landed at about 56th Street and skidded for 200 yards. Then a wing caught the water and it made an abrupt left turn. . . "—Christian Martin, watching US Air 1549 land, from the 32nd floor of a Manhattan office building.

When a potentially
embarrassing droplet
of licorice-tainted snot

limns my left nostril, and
web cameras everywhere
having already caught
wind of it,

I walk on, concentrating
on one-liners from New Yorker
cartoon balloons; then I blow one off
my tongue, using spit and nothing

When royally dismissed by a panel
of talent scouts in pince-nez spectacles
holding foot-long cigarettes under-
handed as Nazis, it only makes me
bolder, like
the gold-wing commander the gods
told off—saying kiss your sweet ass
goodbye, but he did
the Charleston instead, on a feather-splattered
manifold of U.S. Airways 1549 took a double
bird strike and landed smooth as a silver crane
on the Hudson river.

Oh, my dearest,
please go right
ahead and give me a bogus
cell phone number to still
my arrhythmic heart,
I'll still

ink the digits deep into carpal,
arterial blue teardrops, Polly,
like a washed-out Bergen

Belsen tattoo. Never,
never going down for
long, baby doll animus,
amorously as an eighty
degree upwardly

mobile jet stream in summer sky, my
God how the white tail dissipates!
—mixing with the clouds like grains
of morphine stirred into a migraine,

and all the while our rose-
colored needle-nose cone shoots
for the sun, precious one, I'll hold
a cold-fingered salute at a certain

not that one, silly
dunderhead! More-
over yonder barber
shop awning stand
where I
understand some sour-faced
pilot / poet / cartoonist with
a quill pen for a

couplet, he
did launch a nasty
bitter Aubade, but not
me, sweetheart:

Steadfast over Breakfast, I drink pink

Dennis Mahagin lives and works in eastern Washington State.

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