Posted in April 2020 Poetry Month, COVID-19/Pandemic

Last Phase by Josh Medsker

The dark waters bring me
so close to shore.

I am now irreparably compromised
and must die here.

La pattuglia stalk the avenue
(almost curfew)

and the girls cannot come
Now. Not tonight, anyway.

I harbor no anger,
for my doctor
makes an impossible choice.

I am beyond money.
I am sinking

into seconds of happiness,
breathing in
that terrible oxygen,

waiting for a merciful
catcher to throw me back.

Breath heavy, crushing, filling

Outside, coffins
reverently stacked
in the hospital parking lot.

In a mystery, I see
dolphins and swans in the canal

And waters
I can’t see yet, but
I’m told they are clear

bottomless, and forever.

© 2020, Josh Medsker

JOSH MEDSKER ( is a New Jersey poet, originally from Alaska. His debut poetry collection, Cacophony, was published in 2019 by Alien Buddha Press. His work has appeared in The BeZine and other publications.

Ed. Note—We all wish for a better world and for something better to unfold from the tragedy of this pandemic. We take the next-to-last two stanzas of this poem as poetic license in the human pursuit of hope. We do understand and wish to share with you that the reported swan, dolphin (porpoise), and clearer water pics on social media are not what they seem. See this from Snopes.


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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