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Coca Cola

Friends have diabetes, but I drink Coca- Cola
Every chance I get. Forbidden as a child,
It represents freedom. I am not sure I like the taste.
But I refuse to waste it. Instead I pour until the bottle to
The last drop, exactly the way I drank alcohol
In such quantities that earned me a place in AA.

It seems absurd but I am addicted to it.
I can’t stop except in not having a single drop.
I gave up all drugs and alcohol over thirty years ago,
And I balk at giving up this simple pleasure.

The ads help, all-American kids, with perfect bodies,
Playing volleyball on the beach. Or in some trendy
Loft party in New York City. Symbols of pleasure
When most people are working two jobs,
Or one, at 60 hours a week, barely paying the bills.

None of my friends drink Coke.
Most drink alcohol, but that would kill me. I couldn’t stop.
Even if I drink a whole large bottle of Coke
It wouldn’t render me homeless, without friends.
But diabetes can kill me too—blinding, losing limbs,
Watching the sugar in my blood three times a day,
Mainlining insulin, risking a diabetic coma,
Dying.

I’m too old to screw around with lots of sugar.
I keep wondering when the shoe will drop
But medical test after test shows my blood sugar level
Is fine, for now.

The company is fighting food labeling in California,
Which makes me think they are selling something dangerous.

Like Monsanto, they want their profits like mushrooms,
In the dark and covered with shit.

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