That Last Bottle
It was, you said, your very last,
by Herbert Nehrlich
and that you could, without a doubt
take it or leave it, any time at all.
Just a cute habit, acquired in your youth
and kept like an intelligent companion.
When years of proper foods and medicines
could not erase the fusel oils of spirits
you made some stops, unscheduled ones,
inside the institutions where they looked
and probed, and frowned and preached.
They were not schools, of course, not really,
and no one could expect you to obtain
new knowledge, even some of benefit to you
in such a place, where fumes of formalin prevail.
So, you were right, my friend, that bottle was your last.