Coffee Ginger Ale

The taste I associate with dawn at 5 PM
is one I have learned to love—
………………….like self-deprecating humor
………………….parmesan
………………….a Pinter pause
consumed to stay awake and be submissive
…………towards direction
to nourish a body at ease half-
…………naked, languidly quick-changing

The taste I associate with 55 miles per hour
is lapped up from stained skin
………………….situating and steering
………………….and sifting through stations
………………….all at once
a foot shuts the car door, hands hold carbonated corn syrup
…………and straight-up caffeine
attending services at a black box temple I instantly regard in a
…………compound tense

The taste I associate with the past
is one my dentist disdains
………………….coffee ginger ale
………………….direct opposition
………………….masterful and virginal
an ephemeral stimulant—
…………metallic amphetamine, a gem in a bildungsroman
a lifelong depressant—
…………piqued in Proust’s madeleine, attempting to be expressed

by one who finds
resolution, memory
in
two distinct drinks

–Salvatore Casto

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