Michael Diamond

 

The Repair of Midnight

The broken landscape, twigs on a stone, a body shrouded and unshrouded by mist. Paradise, by some manner of reckoning. A stark beauty beckons those who would enter. Who shall pass? In the holy language it is called garden. A garden that has known the touch of no gardener. Midnight, a garden in time, when one day becomes another, the tipping point of night.

In the hallway of my belovedís house there are many doors. A guardian crouches alert, awaiting some sign of direction, a crack in the door. Muffled voices, filtered light and shadow, crumbs. Fleeting memories of everything that was, is, or ever shall be, destroyed. The blink of an eye.

Who shall ascend the staircase to the landing, the space between the quotidien and the nocturnal? The thousandís for the gardener to haul away debris, the season of our neglect, bare earth.

The four women who entered midnight. One awakened, changed her clocks and hung out the laundry. One prepared the pump of the elixir for her essential sweetness. One slept through, grandchildren tucked away. And one also slept, her Zuzu snugly in her crate.

There is no flaw in them, the waters of Babylon notwithstanding. Yes, the Holy Temple still lies in ruins. Yes, diaspora. All may pass for destroyers, though each one is destroyed. Yes.

The repair of midnightís garden requires nothingĖno tools, no seeds, no amendments for the soil. Nothing, that impossible nothing. Neither ghost, nor machine, nor clockwork, nor gear. Nothing.

Sometimes a ruin is just a ruin, neither picturesque nor heartrending, merely evidence of what was and is no longer. The heart must turn itself to the garden, its hard edge to the recalcitrant soil. Open.

 Open to the walking, the connecting, the network of the heart captures song and instruction. There is a ladder in the garden. They say that angels once tread its rungs.

 Compost and composition, the fallout from a year of seeking protection. What is lost? The tang of cumin is now stale urine. Yes, a loss, yet what remains is the holy scent of anointment.

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