At My Age


No one asks to see my ID at the bar

or the liquor store.

I’ve been an adult so long now

it’s like I never was a kid.

And certainly I can’t remember much

about that age, that time,

when I was living on the edge of legal,

not quite eighteen,

and needing to fake a few more months

to get me places.


No fakery involved now.

I’m who I am, clerk

young enough to be my son.

And you, miss – I assume you’re still a miss –

no point hitting on you.

You can see your face, your figure,

my eyesight, my muscle,

parted company long ago.


These days, when it comes to alcohol,

I’m the truth.

Not even drunkenness

can make me

what I’ll never be again.

Other people see that.

The young women at the coffee shop

even call me honey.

Not because I’m sweet and smooth and golden.

But because I’m not.


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