There is a specific taste
that is bound within a paper Dixie cup-
The flimsy paper buckling
under your saliva,
weakened by its own contents;
The way its lip bends slightly
to fit the contours of your mouth;
That same papery taste
lingering in your mouth
as you hold the cup in your teeth:
tasting that same familiar taste
you’ve endured all these years.
Like a complex wine,
the paper alone is not the only taste,
accompanied by the biting metallic flavor
that comes from the city water supply.
Not quite cold enough,
not quite warm-
just a perfectly unsettling
just as unsatisfactory
as the construction of the cup itself.
They are small,
like shot glasses,
but look normal in my tiny hands
as I down
God, does the taste grow awful,
filling my body
not only with its life source,
but with dread;
the tests always come up positive
no matter what I do;
How much water I drink
from those goddamn Dixie cups.