After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” although

I’m not sure how one would ever know.

Pain does not wear away with time

Evaporate, or (like dry ice) sublime,

It diffuses, like water poured in wine,

Inseparable, each molecule of time

Bound to an atom of sadness.

.

There is no after, there is only before.

And what is now and forevermore:

A life diluted by grief.

.

Suffering doesn’t make you strong.

It is only and ever in vain.

But it’s not entirely wrong

To think a certain acquaintance with pain

Is a useful attribute–nothing more–

A certain familiarity with grief

Can’t be bad for a commander in chief

With the power to start a war.

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