At the end of the night, my eyelids are crusted with undigested dreams. They cling to my sleeves as I strain to escape my roiling bed. Undulant moon still hangs on the horizon, reluctant to cede sky to her fulgent brother. I rise in the gloaming, neither asleep nor fully roused, my edges indistinct.
The end of the night is not yet the beginning of anything. Morning hangs back, awaiting its cue. Holding its breath. Here is a moment of pause, suspension, a crack through which one might step beyond time’s relentless track, glimpse its fey illusion.
Such slippage is imperative. Only then may we consider the ways we construct the maze that binds us, our frantic labors to erect the walls of time. We are industrious builders. Our tools are multiple.
Before. After. Quick as a wink. Beginning. Middle. End. In the twinkling of an eye. Past. Present. Future. Round the clock. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. Eight days a week. When. Then. During. Pending. Until. In a jiffy. Just a sec. Minute. Hour. Day. In a flash. A week. A month. A season. Her first trimester. A year. Two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
Decade. Century. Millennium. Epoch. Era. Golden Age. Silver Age. Ice Age. Glacial Epoch. Stone Age. Bronze Age. Iron Age. Jazz Age. Space Age. Atomic Age. Age of Anxiety. Age of Reason. 24/7. Once in a blue moon. Forever. Eternal. Now and always. At the speed of light. At once. Right now. Right away. Till the end of time.
At the end of the night I step off the clock, march out of the calendar pages into the soup of being, stripped of constructs and definition. I float in the warm bath of the brain’s oldest region, absent of schemes and calculations. Always I have been thus.
At the end of the night is a doorway. I twist the knob and slip through before the day can overtake me, finger me with its endless lists, its tasks and obligations. Beyond this threshold lies a garden, alive with scent: rose like dark velvet, sugared musk of jasmine, the bracing snap of dewed grass.