Mary Warner

Did you hear
about the sphinx
in the high school basement?
She says she’s been
collecting dust among gym mats
and second place tennis trophies for
the past three millennia. 

That might be why she’s kind
of a bitch.
It must suck to eat rats
and listen to high schoolers
whine and wane
through the tail end of puberty
while blazing Knowledge
of the Olde Gods
and their Scriptures
burns through your skull.
Can you, like,

If you go down the stairs, take a sharp
she’ll be there, waiting for you.
If you answer her
she’ll answer you. 

one who are you
two who am I

I’ve never made it to three.
She always bites at two,
sometimes one. But

I heard from dani who
who heard from emma who heard from
sarah who heard
from jenni
who heard from emily 

that her answers
will make you see that
which cannot be seen. 

You’ll fall down a rabbit
hole and tunnel
through velvet,
crushing junebugs all
the while and the world
will turn golden
green, just for a second.
Or at least 

that’s what emily said
but who knows if we should
trust her.
o my god did u
hear what she did
last weekend? 


Beware of the sphinx,
O her claws!
O her teeth!
The bite mark on my arm
is turning
golden green,
it leaks
velvet pus
and attracts
buzzing junebugs.

About the Author

Mary Warner graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a BA in English in May 2021. While an undergraduate student, she received the colleges’ Susan Kranzler Scibilia ’68 Memorial Prize for fiction writing. She is currently pursuing her MA in Professional Writing at Carnegie Mellon University.