Sara Pedigo, Hold Back, 2018
Graphite on Paper
4.5 x 8.5"

I open the book and the memory
            swims like astronomy. Formulas
                        unchanged, symbols like facades

of tiny houses. The small town
            where we snapped pictures
                        in the burned-out church.

I wore a skirt we'd made
            from a black-and-cream bedsheet.
                        The drunker I got, the more

the knot at my waist loosened.
            Both boys with slicked-back
                        hair, wanting you. Both trying,

made weaker by their wanting.
            Centuries ago, Tycho Brahe looked
                        up and saw what was fixed

suddenly rearrange: a star going
            brighter before dying. A patterned
                        sheet, re-made. A knot undone.

You would only ever be sixteen.
            All around, people hanging pictures
                        in rooms, drinking wine, laughing

without you. And I, too, alive, drinking,
            trying to love the memory as I did
                        the girl, holes like tiny lights in the sky.


Liz Robbins