These bartenders keep asking me
why I always order my Diet Coke with a lime
and then never use the lime.

And I have a story that I tell
(really a whole patter)
about becoming diabetic
and discovering in California
that the smell of the lime's peel
masks the chemical tang of
the aspartame
in a diet soda.

When what I should really be telling them
is that if I squeezed the lime into my soft drink
the way I would normally prefer
I would probably just end up
licking lime juice off my fingers
for hours on end,

But that getting the lime
and denying myself the pleasure
of abusing the privilege
is far better
than not having the lime at all.