title: "Shelley in the Vending Machine"
author: Ian Benway
imageDescription: "diet coke in hand"
When the soul of Earth ignited fire,
The heavens faintly spoke,
With a furtive background choir,
*Let there be Diet Coke.*
In that instant all was rid
Of disingenuous flame,
And a farewell I had bid
To a life bar aspartame.
Upon this notion I'd construed
A beauty through refraction,
But its veracity I renewed
Upon my satisfaction.
For when I came across my love
Constrained within the plastic,
It took a force from up above
To assuage the craze so drastic!
Upon the cap that I had clenched,
While breaking its fixation,
I found myself---my soul---yet drenched
With russet-brown elation.
The bottle ceased not rapid fizzing,
As it sat in condensation,
So I found my heart still whizzing,
Mind quicker than its palpitation.
Upon a taste my lips felt numb,
Entangled in its presence,
And I, with couth, had thus become
A man of effervescence.
Addiction is a word of slander,
For I can stop at will,
But, to me, my mouth may pander
For a quick refill.
And though I find my heart besotted
With caffeine and strife,
I still permit some time allotted
For Coca-Cola Life.
So thus my heart may wander
From the drink that I have known,
But my dreams, of which I seem to squander,
Will employ Diet Coke alone.
The throne of cans I sit atop
Where, in deep reflection,
I often find it hard to stop
This adamant affection.
I only fear a day convening
My love within a cloak,
For all my life will lose its meaning
Without my Diet Coke.