Photograph by Jonny Lindner

When the grinding of tooth
to tooth to tooth
becomes too much,
I tell her: lover,
come to bed.
The flames are already going
out. The questions will
not be smarter, and
the answers no less obvious.
The sphinx’s mass missives
are signed for, sealed
and scheduled
for advertisement.
Trolls and harpies
will keep until tomorrow.
Save your poison instead
for those who want
its sting.

Only then does she
brood bedward,
wrap sulky paws
around my scales. Her broad
snout exhausts
its heat.
Three poxes on Mammon, she grumbles,
sticking his great
foundering paws into
that book of faces.

He had an inkling, touched it
but once—
and everything else does
the rest.

Now you rest, I chuckle,
the world kindles and kills
itself without us.

May Chong
May Chong is a Malaysian poet/spec writer who writes to tackle the heart and tickle the soul. Her verse has been published in Strange Horizons, LONTAR #10, Apparition Lit, and Multiverse: an international science fiction poetry anthology. She tweets about writing and weird insect encounters at @maysays.