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SPHINX CHILD

Child of the sphinx,
In your golden eyes
A millennium of small slaughters
In the gold of the granary,
In the warehouse, or in ships at sea;
In Egypt of four thousand years ago
Parlaying a useful propensity
For the taste of rat and roach
Into a culture's devotion.

This morning, on the outhouse roof,
Your paw preens fur,
Silk in the sun,
Feathering the wind
With the ruin of the first kill.


At day's end, a lumpy bed;
A lightbulb
Burning like Guernica.
Your body burrows into my blankets;
Your head
Butts at my flank,
And your textures
Predict the sun.
Your throat
Purrs.

Copyright © 1980, 2005 Hugh Cook

Picture of front cover of ARC OF LIGHT poetry collection by Hugh Cook.

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