Today's poem is by Sarah Hannah

The Riddle of the Sphinx Moth

An enormous body kamikaze-dives
At me from behind the eaves of a summer
Shack: a sudden blow between the eyes,

A hybrid whirr—half bird, half bee—she hovers,
Helicopters to the grass, and sparks: Long-short-long,
Morse code in creature-speak for Get you gone.

I run inside. What was she? A pair of dragonflies
Combined to mate like biplanes in a blitz
Seem cordial in comparison to this—the eyes,

Two narrows, solid black, or should I say,
Twin Stygian pools of fixedness,
Her torso thick, a pattern throbbing in the fur,

And what was that prodding in front of her?
A stick, a thin proboscis, twice as long as she,
Insinuates itself in jimsonweed—

Sucks out all the juice. Twenty quiet minutes pass
Until I hear a rattle on the glass;
The window’s shaken out of frame—she’s in!

She fouls the bed—the whole room’s a sty.
I should flee. I shudder in my chair instead.
She owns this house, not I.

A buzz and feint, and with parting glare
She’s out the door. She owns the house,
Not me. I’ve solved the riddle:

All skirmishes aren’t fatal;
All metaphors don’t fly.

Copyright © 2006 Sarah Hannah All rights reserved
from Harvard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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