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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.
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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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