Black Licorice

It’s the invariable
of love versus hate,
the arid tang
of earth and sugar
confronted on the palate
by realization of preference.

Either choke or savor,
there is no in-between,
no moderate like or dislike,
only one extreme to another,
like ears to a Zappa record,
each riff unraveling

rhythm or drone.
Or perhaps a nose inhaling
gasoline, each scent a discovery
of saccharine under chemical.
And as the oddities
of our likings emerge,

there will continue to be
those who prefer black to red,
consuming in cult fashion,
despite tongues laden
with molasses and
inevitable cotton mouth.

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