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I’m clutching your hand because yesterday is still burning

through us and these tears mean you’re still alive

your every slow, torn apart wheeze a woman keening

a mile away, and I feel a mile away even as I cling

to this sack of twigs you keep for a hand, I hold on

as though your hand is a rope and I am climbing

out of the hell you have no choice but to die in, yes

you’re in hell and you’re dying, because hell is not

a place we go to after death—it’s what we leave life

in the hope of escaping

This poem was first published by What Rough Beast, April 2020

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