“Question #3: Soft Drink Focus Group” By Paul Sevigny

What childhood recollection does this drink elicit?

I was seated near the end of the conference table
still clutching my clear communion cup,
effervescing froth dwindling on the sidewalls,
when the other taste testers began to talk
of reminiscent summertime picnics,
ballgames and barbeques and family vacations.

Sir, do you have anything you’d like to add?

My sixth birthday party
when the parents were inside, plastered off 7&7 and gin fizz,
the throng of frenzied children surrounding the underpaid clown
pushing him back back back over the ledge to the deep end
of the backyard pool.
He tried to stay up, writhing manic,
shuddering until he was still and just floating there
to a mounting prepubescent ululation
as we jumped around the bobbing clown,
overchlorinated water bubbling and spuming and hissing
sweet on my tongue.

Paul Sevigny is a woodworker and writer from Poughkeepsie, NY. On a sunny day you can see him around town with the top down in his Miata. paulsevignyart.com 

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