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The John Robert Doyle, Jr., Prize

Brian Slusher

 

In the Worm's Kitchen

In the worm’s kitchen, by the cold
stone stove, they bow in close,
for their words are slow, and they
whisper while sipping a cup of earth
of the last breath abandoned in
the caves of the lungs, the smart
thought rusting on the muddy
tongue, the blue blur of the startled
world rolling unstuck from its sockets,
and they pull their moist shawls
of loam closer and doze, knowing
how comforting nothing is.