What is rust, if not time?
Born of white, grew into yellow, and died at bronze
But why don’t pages rust?
Is it because the words carved into them don’t have enough metal to beat the metal?
Is it because they don’t have enough magic to beat science?
Or is it simply because bronze can’t die on black?
Pages don’t rust, but rust grows on pages
I smell rust, a different one, like someone spilt curry on the page
(Oops, okay, I did)
Rust makes its home between words, like a meaning you derive when you rearrange the letters
Again, and again, and again
Pages house adolescent pieces or rust, hitting puberty,
Sitting in corners of chick lits to maybe get an idea about how idealistic love is
And how everything eventually blackens
I found a whimpering rust bit of rust yesterday,
Almost yellow but not quite, afraid to be black,
Hiding inside the worn out pages of my earmarked diary,
Wanting to not be black, and I just looked at it and said, me too
And then, I burnt it
It didn’t have to turn black alive, neither do I.
By Prithiva Sharma.
Prithiva Sharma is a nineteen-year-old student from India currently studying English Literature. She is a big procrastinator and spends her time writing poetry instead of assignments. Her work has previously been published in online magazines like Germ and Brown Girl Magazine. She has upcoming pieces in Poethead and is part of an anthology by Brown Girl Magazine. You can find more of her work at Instagram @prithivaaa.
Artwork by Richman