I escape the pressures of youth
By chasing back the hard liquor
That steals my breath.
The bartender knows my face now,
Slides my drink before I even take my seat.
I nod my head
And I know this will be a quick fix.
The guy at the end of the bar watches
Me from from beneath his ball cap.
He swishes his jack and coke together,
The ice cubes clinking beneath the dimmed light.
Music pulses in the background
But I have grown weary of the toxic beat.
My hips used to sway in my sweat,
My eyes used to fasten on the way he threw his head back and laughed.
It’s the usual Thursday crew that floods through,
Flexing young men with fresh Calvin’s
And worn out Adidas.
Pretty girls come too, holding their breath
As they waddle with their waist trainers.
I watch this all unfold from my regal ledge
As the young ones filter through,
My tired eyes ache as the time goes on
And the bartender calls for the last rounds.