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lurm rust what she wants

i know what she wants.
she’ll do anything to hang on to it.

she keeps it with her inside a cave she made of crude iron scales.
she routinely rivets more scales in layers
over any holes in the rusty old ones.

with every layer, the cave grows smaller.

but she believes light is a threat
and rust just needs time to let it in.

she can’t stop time, but maybe, she thinks, she can block its effects.

the thing is, she can’t. and that rust …

it’s had time;
more time than she knows.

enough time for it to eat away a big enough hole
that i could see the sky on the other side—
eventually big enough
that i crawled through when she wasn’t looking.

the hole has since closed up behind me.
i’m not sure if she even knows i’m gone.

i know what she wants.
i can’t let her have it.