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