Chimera · Lauren Scharhag

Only when the sun goes down do I wake.
This need to look out into the darkness, inveterate.
Am I vestigial, like an appendix or a tail bone?
Leftover from crueler times,
When watchers on the wall were required.
Now, wingless, purposeless, bladeless, I circle,
Trapped in these lamp-lit streets,
With no sleep to vouchsafe, not even my own.
I tuck my claws in my pockets and keep
To the dark corners of parking lots.
Men doubt my existence.
Set a second alarm clock, they say,
Have an extra cup of coffee.
The world is governed by the tyrannical sun.
The beasts of my nature constantly at war with each other:
One hissing, one snarling and one meekly
Trying to crop at the grass.
I am a cauldron of monsters,
One lone herbivore trying to sweeten us,
Trying to teach us to swallow something
Other than blood.

Lauren Scharhag is an award-winning writer of fiction and poetry. Her titles include Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, West Side Girl & Other Poems, and The Order of the Four Sons. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit: laurenscharhag