He staggers in his toga, jovial

but jaundiced. His flagging liver struggles under

the load. His hands twitch, palms redder

than wine. But Bacchus’ cup remains full.

He toasts MELD scores, organ transplants.

“Glorious, glorious! What surgeons have—hic—

done! Here’s to hepatocytes, which

happily relocate. Such advances

demand another round.” Tonight Bacchus

drowns the fact a life must soon be taken

early: some family will gift him the liver

from a brain-dead body playing host

to second chances. Vats of crushed grapes

make this batch full-bodied, but bitter.