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The jawless skull has eaten the apples,
not the pears. Life is stiller this way.
St. Francis cradles the skull upside-
down in his palms. He drinks blood,
not wine, from the skull's open stem,
thinking it might have been Christ's
or Apollo's. A rope is knotted where
a neck used to breathe, dispossessing
the skull marrow. His cloak's shining
sooty-blue in cave light. Somewhere
else, wherever the jaw sought asylum,
the skull is clapping its skull hands
until they bleed: echoing cave light.
It's a skull, and it don't give a damn.

Richard Prins received his MFA degree in poetry from New York University. Now he divides his time between managing a building in Brooklyn and consulting for an entertainment company in Dar es Salaam. His work appears in Los Angeles Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, Redivider, and THRUSH Poetry Journal.
Current Issue
13 May 2024

This variation on the elixir of life pairs the flavour of roasted roc with the medicinal potency of the philosopher’s stone. But buyer beware: this dish isn’t for everyone.
mourn and lament while mixing, then cut down a tree
At the end of every tunnel, there was an epithelium of silence that deluged the larynx.
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