August

How could I forget?

You asked me once if it was in me to forget this, and I answered no. As the sky is painted crimson with flecks of diamond shining through the sunset sky, I am captured into broken reverie, a dervish dancing on the sands. I remember the night time, and the gardens that hung from the walls we had erected to protect our love in.

I grab a reed, and trace my name into the sand, waiting under the embrace of the moon, can you comprehend the infinite repetition that is this moment?

That was once. Is it incomprehensible? These walls that surround, fall to their knees begging forgiveness.

Damascus wept when I entered her gates, her walls heaved themselves towards the ground in broken agony, and I was her conqueror. We are not as young as we were once, and to believe that these things are repeatable is blasphemy. How do you retrace the ineffable? Can you capture the universe in a single word?

What did you expect from igniting a fire, that it would simply burn out to an ember? No, this little ember has become a raging holocaust, and it’s not empty. Love, did you ever understand love? Her walls raise themselves high and she is made low, as trampling feet batter her into submission she weeps like a broken harlot, and my feet are merciless in this moment.

My war horses are waiting at your gates, will you yield? Under moonlight and by the edge of a dagger, my hands cross my chest, forswearing your destruction. Stand high and proud, my wrists bleed this oath tonight, and tomorrow you shall fall. I wish you understood my prophets, my priests and exalted ones, who speak of your judgments, but you cannot hear and your eyes are slow to open. Damascus has wept, and you would raise your battlements, cast oil down your walls, launch arrows into the night, however, you cannot exalt yourself against impending disaster.

My name in these shifting sands, the repetition, echoes across the life of the desert, this moment shall have no screams, there will not be time. There will only be fire, there will be no time at all. My right hand shall make it so that there from the heart of Damascus there will burst forth a vine, it shall raise itself high from the heart of the desert, drying your rivers, consuming your herds, and destroying your high places, your towers and spires, your altars and low places.

All shall be made low, and your fortresses shall tremble before my mighty hand. I have made my edict and there shall be no peace with Damascus, no rest shall be found for the imbibers of blood, the desecrated that thirst for the righteousness of the innocent that they may destroy them. There shall be no comfort for those who dance in the pools of the blood of the weak who trample children under their feet, starving Damascus shall be brought to ruin, her fortresses made a wilderness, her knowledge made into folly.

Her chariots shall fall by the wayside, and her horses shall lift their heads no more. My hand has written this that it may come to pass. You shall no more raise yourself against my hand, my heart shall no more cry out for you. Wild and forsaken you shall be game for the birds of the air, the beasts of the field shall reject you and your pride shall destroy you. Behold the mighty city who dances about in the blood of martyrs, she shall be brought low.

Your walls are curtains of bloodshed, wherein you devour the heard of the righteous.

Listen Mountains, give ear valleys of the earth, gather the assembly, hear these words, and tremble. The rivers shall be made to run with the blood of Damascus, the reeds shall wither, the vine in Damascus will destroy her, in her place shall emerge mighty cedars, the once mighty city shall become an empty waste. Her priests shall be empty in mind and heart, their deeds clouded in thick darkness.

I am not forgotten, amid the sands I dance, and wait as Damascus gnashes her teeth, sets herself on edge, she throws herself down from her altars, writhing like a serpent in the night, she shall never rise again, and this foot shall crush her head, casting her down from her exalted place to the dust of the earth, to the fires of the valley of Gehenna.

The winds come from the coast lands and the islands are my witnesses, all shall fall, the stars shall rend themselves of their light and cast deep darkness upon this city, the moon shall read my edict amid your solemn assemblies, and my prophets shall declare words that make seas tremble and the mountains dash themselves to pieces.

Still, in this anguish I weep. Holy Damascus, you have forgotten me, and forsaken your first love. My little child, my holy one, I have desired your love.

Behold! A light shall break forth from the light of Damascus, and amid her destruction and ruin I shall call out for myself an assembly, and in that day her prophets and children shall be my people, then they shall enter my gates and speak my oracles to the islands, I have called a people from the four winds, a priesthood from the nations, a people of the land, and they shall call on me and I shall dance in their midst, and dwell among them. Let light break froth from Damascus, and the innocent shed no more tears.

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