ISSUE 6 · SPRING 2011
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
Brenda Mann Hammack teaches seminars in creative writing, women’s studies, and children’s literature at Fayetteville State University, where she also serves as faculty advisor for Glint Literary Journal. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Issue 3 of A cappella Zoo, Segue, Gargoyle, Caveat Lector, Mudlark, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Steampunk Magazine, and Arsenic Lobster. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize.