The Last Toast

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

I drink to the house already destroyed
To my whole life, too awful to tell
To the loneliness we together enjoyed
I drink to you as well
To the eyes the deadly cold imbued
The lips that betrayed me with lies
To the world for being so cruel and rude
And God, who didn’t save us or try.
— Iris DeMent lyrics based on a
translated poem by
Anna Akhmatova

This bottle near empty,
my tongue nearly numb,
these lungs with their rattle,
these coughs thieve away
any breath I have left.

Dear lord,
please forgive
the spite in my soul,
that sent post of remorse
to her box from the one
I am soon to enter,

And may it’s dagger take swift
the life that wasted mine,
the wheeze of this virus to paper—
one last swallow of rye,
one last puff of air
‘fore my body goes cold.

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