Cherry Cola (Cracked Pulpit)

They didn’t tell you that cherry cola was wrong,

but they let you know it was. 

They said that only the sick minded drank it,

declared from a broken and cracked pulpit

that no child should ever have to watch a man or woman drink cherry cola. 

A girl dared to drink cherry cola out of a glass bottle

in front of that bloodied birdcage.

They all saw.

They pointed at her with rotting wings and,

like an angry mob with pitchforks and flaming torches,

surrounded her and shouted hate.

You looked down at your cup of cherry cola in shame.

 

Wings sheared off with scissors

Blood dripping off your crimson feathers

And falling into a puddle that forces you 

To look at your own reflection.

Legs bound together with infinitely knotted rope

Burns mark your skin, angry and biting.

The wrong, lying air forced through your larynx

Words nothing but razor blades on your tongue.

Lies cut the inside of your mouth

Drink your Cherry Cola in a steel glass.

 

Take a sip from your friend’s cup

It burns your throat like battery acid.

Discard every label, throw it in the fire

Watch the edges curl up and turn into orange embers 

That glow with shame hot and stifling

That send sweat trickling down your forehead.

Drink your Cherry Cola in a steel glass.

 

Smash every glass bottle

Hide the shards under the bed

Take them out in the dead of night

Where nothing remains but 

A silence that strangles you in your own thoughts

Pray no one asks about the holes in the trash bag.

Drink your Cherry Cola in a steel glass.

 

Deny, derail, distract

All those who wonder about your cup.

Forget what it is yourself.

Lies affix your limbs to your side with their silvery thread

Let the spider’s web entangle you.

Paint your life in monochrome.

Pour your glass of Cherry Cola out.

 

Refill it with Water

 

But then you see a someone

The only one in the crowd who has a steel glass too

You can smell the cherry cola 

You can see the shame

You run home, legs pumping endlessly, lungs burning 

You dump out the water

Let the lie run down the drain

You reach within myself

And grab your glass of cherry cola

You ran back to that bloodied bird in that cage

Make sure the eyes see

Make sure the bird knows

That you drink cherry cola too

And you may feel the heat from those shameful embers

But you will drink it 

So your throat will no longer burn

So the others perhaps 

Won’t feel the same embers of shame

And you will regrow my wings

Refill your glass with cherry cola 

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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