“LOVER (chewing gum etiquette)”

She will become
bubble gum stuck
to your concrete body.
A sticky pink reminder
of the sweet goodness
you once chewed inside
the mouth, savoring
this first taste
like the melting of snow
after the longest winter.
She will remain there,
nearly forever—
retaining her beauty
until other men
step on her,
treading their own grime,
carrying bits of her away—
flattening her,
until she is nothing
but a gray stain
on your once perfect
doorway.

And after she is gone,
you will grow nostalgic.
You will search
for her flavor, far
and wide— up and down
the grocery aisle;
But the sad thing
about your first chew
is that they don’t make
that flavor anymore.
Furthermore, saccharin
causes cancer
in laboratory rats.
So, always read
the warning label
to know what you’re
getting yourself into.

And no matter what,
don't litter. Never litter.
One misplaced wad
begets another
and another
until you are standing
waist deep in the filth
of your mistreatment
of her.
I'm not suggesting
that one should chew
the same piece
for their entire lifetime.
But don't throw her
to the curb
as soon as you are through.
Carefully fold her
back into the same wrapper
you found her.
Then, and only then,
should you toss her
in the rubbish,
whilst pulling out
a fresh stick.

narrative poem written on 03-14-2011 by: on mattkane.com
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