Size / / /

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's most recent novel, An Inheritance of Ashes, won the Sunburst, Copper Cylinder, and Prix Aurora Awards, and her short fiction has appeared in multiple Year's Best anthologies. She lives and works in Toronto, where she picks urban apple trees, builds civic engagement spaces, and makes large amounts of jam. Visit her at
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