Growing older, uncomfortably

by Neil McCarthy

Cafés just aren´t cool anymore

unless they boast walls of exposed brick, pipes,

half a chair nailed to the ceiling,

mis-matched furniture back-breakingly uncomfortable.


Music, too, needs to be offensive —

the scratched record sound, explicit lyrics of

this bitch and that bitch coming

from four wall-mounted speakers in case you can´t hear.


The baristas have a uniform of tats,

            trucker hats and views of side boob through

stretched vests bearing the face of Bowie,

maybe a map of a freeway they have never driven on.


And what do I mean by “a coffee”?

            Do I want a long black or a flat white,

            a Cortado or a double Macchiato,

and if the latter, a latté? And what kind of milk do I want?


I´m not cool anymore, maybe never was.

            I slink back into a ripped-up couch realizing

            that I´ve reached the when-I-was-your-age age

sipping quietly, lamentfully, on whatever the fuck I ordered.