Things that rust

Bridges: the kind we drive our cars across, the kind that hold us together
over the years, these rust. They maintain their shape, but not always
that grandeur. The rain and the snow and the pressure peel their ends

dirty and rough. Skill: use it or lose it, talent does not always last
or take you very far. Practice, practice, practice, or one day
you will find yourself with angry hands that cannot wow

as they once did. One day you will wish you listened
when someone told teenage you that these things don’t wait
around. Underwater treasure: once cried joy over, once

placed in a precious box, once someone’s favorite pair, someone’s last
hand to hold their grandmother, someone’s crown and glory, now
spitting and spilling red-orange pieces like a bonfire submerged

on the ocean floor. The mind: is it rust or is it a snow covering
that hides a word behind a tongue? What makes a familiar face
a stranger, a little man chipping away at their nose or another


closing a curtain? One thing that will not rust in the mind is music:
if not the words, then the tune remains. A good song cannot rust,
that is sure; once it is played, it is whole again and again.