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  • Max Bamberger

time, travel

Meticulous fringes tether our path to the skies, a thrice-reflecting peephole to infinity.

Every morning, the same words, the same leather squeezing your arm. You run your hand along the wall of a long hallway and its texture whispers prayers to your fingertips. A corridor of mornings, a corridor of sleepy eyes and unfolding days.

Friday night, the same tunes. Candle pillars and grapevines line the steps up to the palace. Enormous, egg-washed double doors break open, and you step from the sixth to the seventh, where the air is sturdier and the mind clearer. A space oblivious to the laws of the physical world. Stairways lead to libraries and chessboards, pages turn to far-away lands and songs sing their own praises. Night, and day. A presence finds itself absent-mindedly.

Saturday night, a farewell at the back door. A braided, glowing doorframe, the same grapevines that adorn the palace’s entrance. Cinnamon, cloves. Leading down from the palace, a fading magenta walkway searches the skies for a glimpse of a new moon.

Temples tell the tale of our landscape.

A grand temple of ramshorn and honey. A ten-day corridor flows into a white temple, full of candor, dizziness, and overexposed vision.

A temple of leaves and tapestries, of outstretched branches, of eternal impermanence. Colors themselves hang from the ceilings, twisting slowly, catching glimmers of sun.

A temple of light in the darkest valley, inverted chandeliers, windows, and coatracks. Towering golden stacks, frying oil, letters that spin too quickly for you to glean their meaning.

One temple is adorned with masks, like a theater, though its entrance places you not in the audience but on the stage. An unwinding funhouse, where down leads to up and up becomes down, only stable through its embrace of instability. Appearances are not what they seem — poppy masquerades as cocoa and the strongest shape crumbles in your hands.

A temple with mortar made from taste and bricks made from memory itself. A containment defined by escape. Cushions so comfortable that they tell you you’re moving, bread made in such haste that it tells you you’re there. Gateways in the shape of goblets, a door that is ajar.

A temple of fire that nearly consumes itself.

A hilltop temple of marriage and covenant, a great gateway to holy union, a honeymoon suite for the newlyweds to study the terms of their contract all night long.

A temple of ruins. A stolen altar to ashes, cries, to the lost and to the losing.

Our landscape is a globe, and a sweet siren tells you that the ramshorn temple is breaking the horizon once more.

Meticulous fringes, a guardrail for our walkway in the clouds…

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