Published on Academy of American Poets (

In the gloaming, in the roiling night

The hurt returns as it always intended—it is tender
as the inside of my thighs, it is as blue, too. O windless,

            wingless sky, show me your empire of loneliness,
let me spring from the jaws of what tried to kill me.

Let me look at your face and see a heaven worth having, all
                         your sorry angels falling off a piano bench, laughing.

Do you burn because you remember darkness? Outside
the joy is clamoring. It is almost like the worst day of your life

                                      is ordinary for everyone else.


Copyright © 2019 by Ruth Awad. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 5, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem is part of a series that inspects grief by the facet. It is the realization that grief is not another planet; it is an alternate timeline with front-row seats to your old life. Nothing has changed for most people around you, but you might as well be a fly caught in amber.”
—Ruth Awad


Ruth Awad

Ruth Awad is the author of Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017), winner of the Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the Ohioana Book Award for Poetry.

Date Published: 2019-03-05

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