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Set aside your galvanized sorrow—
you have been using it to shield your heart
for far too long.

Yes, your tears will etch lines of rust around your eyes—
do not polish them away.
It is better to wear your sorrow on your face,
than to live behind this fragile zinc veneer.
It shields you from the worst of the storm—
but it tastes of new pennies and old regret,
and staying frozen in time is a high price to pay
for shelter made from poison and half-truths.

Yours was an alchemical reaction,
a spark so bright it burned
the world around you to ashes in the end,
and left you building a bomb shelter for your heart
out of paper-thin half-truth sheet metal
that tasted like old pennies and new regrets.

Come out into the storm,
let the rain and the truth
wash you into stillness
and etch lines of rust around your eyes.
But don't stand out in the storm too long,
because there is no guarantee
that someone will tumble
out of this particular tornado
to save you this time,
and entropy always wins.

Let your grief be bookended
as you once were by us—
stand in this liminal space
that we have come to call mud season,
and reflect on the endless cycles of life.
Earth turns back to unfrozen earth,
ashes to ashes,
steel to rust.

Kythryne Aisling is a jewelry artist, performance poet, musician, parent, weightlifter, and brain tumor survivor; her poetry has previously appeared in Stone Telling and Interfictions. Forgetting things is her superpower, and she is inordinately fond of glitter. Her jewelry can be found at and she tweets about anything that crosses her mind at @wyrdingstudios
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