The town beyond the wall

The town beyond the wall

I’m journeying in the barren valley of a dead river

I imagine that this place used to be fertile once

but now it’s composed of protruding rocks

and baked shrubs that don’t reach to my ankles


In the distance a wall rises and towers above everything else

it melts within the landscape as though it were just another cliff

but the rift is too clearly and neatly cut to be natural

this wall is man or God made, and it’s hiding something from my view


Is this a town wall, and when I’ll arrive atop of it

a sprawling metropolis will spread under my feet

is it where all the water has gone, leaving this land dry and parched

I imagine the city hiding there crisscrossed with canals and boats and bridges and abundant vegetation

nothing permeates from beyond the wall but I suppose that is the aim of a proper town wall


What if this wall is a boundary between worlds

what if by crossing it I’m leaving this world and entering another world

what marvels and horrors do lie in that mysterious world

again I picture a flowering garden in my mind’s eye

with springs gurgling their fresh water in little pools where to drink and watch our faces

and why not, to bathe our feet


So dry is the world I live in

so great is my craving for green and blue

that I will walk on without halting until I reach the wall

may the gods assist me in climbing it

and may the spectacle there surpass my wildest dreams