The Jar-Mouthed Fennec

by Alex Dally MacFarlane

Bite down
Bite down
with teeth of jars
that open wide:
those miniature mouths
sticky with honey
winking with gold nuggets
caught among the root ginger
and mythical coins
those miniature mouths
oh, they close on your hands
taking your silver and false nails
as you sleep
leaving only a ring of honey
or ground coriander seeds

Run quick
run quick
and horde treasures
that none can catch
and turn in old boneyards
where the strange creatures come
turn quick
tail flicking like a skirt
turn quick
to the unique music
of oddments rattling in glass jars.

Alex Dally MacFarlane is a writer and traveller, often found in markets. Jars and bottles in many Southeast Asian markets contain dead scorpions, spiders, seahorses. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in Clarkesworld, Fantasy Magazine, DayBreak Magazine, Sybil's Garage, Jabberwocky 4, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Cabinet des Fées, Goblin Fruit, and the 2010 Rhysling Award anthology. A limited handbound edition of her story "Two Coins" is forthcoming from Papaveria Press. To find out more, visit her website.

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