Maraschino

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By Hope Kennedy

She brought a jar of cherries,
The too red too sweet ones.
She said we could use them for fruit salad,
For ice cream,
For cocktails,
The possibilities were limitless,
She said.

 We passed the jar between us,
Dipping fingers in and plucking them out,
Sugar sticky too sweet.
Crushed between our molars,
They turned our tongues bright red,
Coated our mouths in cloying flavor.

 When the fruit was gone we drank from the jar,
Juice dribbling down our chins.

 I haven’t been able to taste anything since.

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