Dear Diet Coke, How Do I Miss You?


(Let Me Count the Ways)

First thing in the morning,easing into the day,
The snappety pop of your lid, followed by your gentle fizz
still haunts me as I sip my morning tea.
Three in the afternoon,
when visited by doldrums
and lunch coma,
You Were There.

You ran over my lips,
tickled my tongue,
cold and tingly bubbles pushing their way
through my veins.
I felt Awake.
Alive.

With lunch, with dinner,
with pizza,
your bitter sweetness and slightly cloying aftertaste
paired perfectly with any food, unlike sweet-sour lemonade
or the sharp nip of iced tea.

In the car: on my way home, on my way out,
for Saturday errands, before a trip to the burbs,
Your sweet nectar, lovingly crafted by McDonald’s–
home of the best damn DC on the planet–
Such the perfect passenger for the journey.
What do I do with my hands now?
How to punctuate the ride?
What do I reach for when traffic stops,
cars honk, pedestrians cross the street,
drivers flip the bird?
When sun fills the car,
leaving me parched and bored?

On a hot day, after a workout,
Your cold bubbles spread quickly through this
vast body of mine.
Faster than ice water,
speedier than electrolytes,
I felt your cooling effect in my fingers,
my toes,
my heart.

Dear one,

They’ve driven us apart
with their talk of illness and poison.
Tell me They’re wrong, DC,
and I’ll take their advice, throw it over my shoulder
and never look back.
Tell me that you miss me,
Tell me that things will be better,
that you’re good for me.

That someday, you’ll see me again,
To grace my lips,
igniting sensations from within.

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