Poetry: Sonnet of the South American Sphinx by Katherine Quevedo

Sonnet of the South American Sphinx

by Katherine Quevedo

She spreads her condor wings and never blinks

her talismanic, liquid copper eyes.

Her jaguar body stretches as she lies

beside the mighty Amazon and thinks

about her unmet thirst. She never drinks.

She hunts whatever traveler she spies,

then sinks her silver fangs into her prize

—unless they solve the riddle of the sphinx.

Her riddle lives in quipus, in the knots

the Inca tied, their secret language some

have spent a lifetime trying to understand.

They say the answer hides among the spots

upon her fur, a mottled, rippling crumb

of thought, unlocking every knotted strand.

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