by Kara Goughnour

When you let your fears grow old,

your fears will age you. 

Hold your pale, cross-fire palms up

and pray to anything that has a backbone—

make it yours, strung through your thick skin

like bedazzled cross-stitch done with fishhook.

Use every piece of that thankful beast, 

that Cerberus of wanting. Know yourself 

too well to dig a shallow grave. 

When the reckoning comes—

it won’t matter whose—

you’ll check the door three times 

and run.

Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s in creative and professional writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of the 2018 Gerald Stern Poetry Award and has work published or forthcoming in Third Point Press, The Southampton Review, and over twenty others. Follow her on Twitter @kara_goughnour or read her collected and exclusive works at   


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