Mary’s inner fox is in sexy exile.
It has leash burn and bloody paws
from pacing in her womb. Mary’s gut echoes
with its growls.
Joseph loves Mary’s pies.
He calls from the couch, asks
for peach, a la mode. Mary is Southern
and accommodates Joseph in the kitchen.
There is a knock at the door. Mary’s neighbor
is out of sugar. Mary lends her a cup and a half
and watches the sun on her hair
as she crosses the yard.
The fox is at it again.
As it begins to move, Mary startles
and cuts her finger slicing fruit.
She goes into her room for a bandage.
In the bedroom Mary lets the fox
out. She pets and pets it until
it is silky smooth. The static in its fur
pulses in her milk-white fingertips.
Mary lets it lick her nipples. She wets her own
fingers and touches the fox under its tail.
Humidity coats them like batter.
Mary returns to the kitchen and finishes
her pie. Joseph doesn’t know about the fox.
He eats dessert in their bed. “Mary, this is
delicious!” Joseph says happily, stroking crumbs
from his beard. Mary is thinking
of a cup and a half of sugar.
Jan Edwards Hemming hails from the South and holds a BA in English from LSU and an MFA from NYU. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Mackinac, The Rio Grande Review, The Exquisite Corpse, The Weirdlings, and Weave Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife and their two cats and teaches creative writing to children and teens.