Hold Fast

By Leah Bobet

Through your changes. Through the sear

of smoky coal and burnt hair hold fast,

like a motherfucking fool. Hold fast

'cause it's your life, and as for me, as for me

—how could you dream I'd ever just leave you?

There's Hell in smallest places: in fine-grained pills,

in silences, in the cages of our heads, and Mister,

I have walked them; I've paced their dollhouse walls.

I've measured steps in hours and fought burred-up

bitter thoughts and these scarred arms, this scarred

heart does not send men to Hell.

                                                  (How dare you,

sweet child-rich Janet said, Tam straitjacket

in her arms. How dare you, as he twisted wild and burned.)

Hold fast, you fucking heartbreak; you hunched-down,

bleeding, broken, chivalrous ass. Hold yourself fast to me

with claws, fangs, hands, those surest hands; burn yourself

taut into my skin. Spare me nothing—

                                                       —and I'll hold fast

through your changes, through the failures. Through the

upward roads of Hell.

Don't you leave me. Don't you dare explode.


Leah Bobet buys her music on vinyl, wears feathers in her hair, and plants gardens in back alleys. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared most recently in Goblin Fruit, Realms of Fantasy, and several Year's Best anthologies, and her first novel, Above, was published this spring by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic..

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