Butterfly Stroke On Coast Starlight
Dennis Mahagin

Sheridan takes nitrates for chest pains
that remind him --- nobody's immortal.
Sometimes he dreams of dying on a train

in his own sleeper, coffin-shaped portal
upon a scenery that seems to rush past
as one long reminder: no body's immortal

to shark fins, in profile. Sheridan wants to last
so he pops the pressure pills, blood thinners
approximating burgs and villes, rushing past --

-- one at breakfast; another with dinner
he washes them down with H2o, and V 8 juice:
pills keep the pressure low; blood even thinner

than a swimmer's dream of a natatorium sluiced
by raindrops, in youth, when a thunderstorm hit
his panes, breath became H2o, shrugging a noose

over and over and over and since he cannot quit,
Mister Sheridan pops Nitro for quelling chest pains
that runnel as rain when a summer storm hits
Sheridan dreams of drowning on a train.