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About this Poem 

“I was driving down Westheimer Road in Houston, Texas, when I noticed the erratically driven car in front of me with the Ayn Rand vanity plate. I couldn’t help but imagine it plowing into a nearby bakery. I suppose the pigeons in my poem represent most of us—though I’m not sure if God is grinning at the economic system that brought them such good fortune, or at something else.”

—Kevin Prufer

Bread and Cake

The black Mercedes
with the Ayn Rand 
vanity plate
crashed through 
the glass bus stop
and came to rest 
among a bakery’s 
upturned tables.
In the stunned silence,  
fat pigeons descended 
to the wreckage
and pecked at 
the scattered
bread and cake.
The driver slept,
head to the wheel.
The pigeons grew
rich with crumbs.
The broken glass winked.
God grinned.

Copyright @ 2014 by Kevin Prufer. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 5, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Kevin Prufer. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 5, 2014.

Kevin Prufer

Kevin Prufer

Kevin Prufer is the author of six books of poetry, most recently How He Loved Them (Four Way Books, 2018) and Churches (Four Way Books, 2014). He teaches at the University of Houston and lives in Houston, Texas.

by this poet

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When the deified Nero

ordered Seneca to “open his veins,”
                                                                the playwright
complied—though he was, by then, sick and infirm
and his blood wouldn’t flow quickly enough
from the wounds,
                                 so his

poem
I love the crown molding and the white granite countertops.

And look, dear! Stainless steel appliances! Don’t you love them?  

It’s such a perfect apartment, and, in every room, a coffered ceiling.     

And don’t you love the pink twin sinks, like porcelain scallops?

And listen to the faucets, 

like the rush
2
poem
They wanted him to stop kicking like that—
it made their eyes corkscrew, drilled the sun in the sky
so light dumped out like blood from a leak.
The boy in the trunk wouldn't die.

They drove and drove, and he dented the trunk's tight lid,
called their names, then pounded the wheel wells
with a tire iron. The sun