ISSUE 6 · SPRING 2011




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Copyright © 2011

Brenda Mann Hammack





Little Hermit Sphinx

BRENDA MANN HAMMACK



strings moon moths on thread. So much gauzier than horse-flies,

but not so illicit as eagle feathers.


If her neighbors weren’t intrusive as guests, if they wouldn’t stomp

so squawkingly on eggs, or if lung-meat, hung,


weren’t so given to dreadful incursions of health inspectors,

she might be less reclusive.


Instead, she might host riddle parties, or else, eyrie follies.


If not for the universe, curved, the little sphinx would not be disturbed

by suburban sprawling. She’d avoid


that knock-knock galling of bad memory. She’s known trespass more

intimate than she cares to forget.


She’s way past politeness to census gits. As for animal control?

She feels no regret as she slides


knucklebones, then phalanges round her moth-flecked neck.



after Leonor Fini