B Y   R U T H   A W A D

Ruth Awad is the author of Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017), which won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Missouri Review Poem of the Week, Sixth Finch, Crab Orchard Review, CALYX, Diode, Rattle, The Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, Drunken Boat, Nashville Review, and in the anthologies The Hundred Years' War: Modern War Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), New Poetry from the Midwest 2014 (New American Press, 2015), and Poets on Growth (Math Paper Press, 2015). She won the 2012 and 2013 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest. Learn more about her work and her interview series Pet Poetics at www.ruthawadpoetry.com. 

​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

C H I M E R A


I climbed each rung of your ribs

and my foot passed through room

you made for me inside an hour of rain. 

Because I'm hunger and flame, I circle

you like rope circles an animal circles a tree.

My teeth are sharp with a new taste

and every exit looks like a place I'm going. 

A claw digs into earth and becomes the earth. 

You would have me gnaw my own ankle free,

but my shoulders against a stand of pines 

remember where my wings once seared. 

Two blades under hide. Set to music, a wildfire.