by Jonathan Vold

Wednesday, November 23

The Real Thing

I would like to say
that there is nothing
like the quenching power
of a Diet Coke,
ignoring for one
indulgent moment
what other poets
choose to write about.
I would like to note

the pleasant feeling
of carbonation
and the sweetness of
zero calories
and the bitter hint
of a grownup taste,
the icy chill, the
feeling of steel and
the perk of caffeine,

but I’d have to add
quickly, being one
from that grownup world
of bittersweetly
carbonated gas
how the “real thing” is
hardly everything
and “nothing like” is
much less than it seems

after the bubbles
die down and the air
takes the chill away,
when the buzz wears off
and you hunger for
more, anything more
than the flattened
aluminum taste of
water in disguise.

With wisdom and age,
everything is less
than you thought before,
more than you supposed,
nothing like they told
you when you were young,
something that your youth
might spend all its life
trying to understand,

something like the power
of water with no
color, taste or fizz
poured without ice
into a lucid glass
and then lifted up
to the waiting lips
of simplicity.
I need nothing more.

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