These Are The Things That Make Me A Man

These are the things that make me a man:
Feeling less with less to feel;
Lurching late at night in spite of the whiskey, not because of it;
Holes in my underwear and in my face where the dull razor catches;
Having stories I recount better than I remember;
Gripping onto my life when I used to dangle it blithely from rusted balcony ledges;
Shortness of breath.

With my Hollywood looks faded
my morning stubble comes in thick like dew on shrinking fields of grass
but I no longer wake up exhausted
having slept for most of my life, anyway.

This is my manhood on account:
The number of women who have shared my bed;
The number of women who have walked away clothed in my dignity
naked as the day they were born;
The number of days I’ve been sober;
The number of hours since my last drink;
The number of addictions I’ve accumulated because I was bored and alone;
The number of years I have left
less the senility.

These are the truths that make me a man
Youth and impractical strength, I waste
and sleep no worse for it.