Influence

I never drank Mountain Dew

until you swore it was the beverage of the gods

and I’d die if I went another minute

without chugging an icy cold glass.

I never watched professional soccer

until you forced me to endure game after game

as you gave me back rubs on your cold basement floor.

I never listened to underground punk or ska

until we drove with the top down

and blasted The Indecisives through your dad’s fifteen-hundred-dollar sound system.

So I’m sitting here sipping my daily dose of sweetened caffeine

with the afternoon soccer game on mute

so I can hear my new Mustard Plug CD flowing from the speakers,

thinking about how I like you in a way

that has nothing to do with soda.