by Monim Wains

Midnight pulled their cloak over their head. Smooth black fur slid on slow, draped over shoulders. A resting weight hugged them down whole. 

They floated on the grass, wispy tendrils stroked the ground beneath their toes. The grass swooned in slumber at the touch, eyes drooping at Midnight’s caress.

Eyes dreamed, staring in dazed wonder at the cloak. It was speckled with crystals, glittering powder of brilliant white, diamonds beset in black velvet. They revolved in lazy arcs across the sky, drowning the earth deep below.

Above it all, before it all, gleamed their wondrous face. A sole spotlight washing out in a chalky glaze. It danced in itself, turning as they flew to face the earth, and then the heavens. Every scar, every crater, every shade of grey, enrapturing the gaze.

They faced away this night, hiding with the back of their hood. Tonight would be restful.

It would be dreamy.

It would be midnight, as it had been midnight, as it had always been before. And then it would be new.

Midnight had a secret, you see.

Midnight was a portal, a door to two rooms. Midnight hadn’t turned, they had just faced their other face.

Rolling along their arc, they never went away. They turned.

They entered through the window, silent under the clouds. Quiet and soft, the delicate tinkering of their keys poured into sleeping ears. Over every sleeping head, one door closed, another opened, and Midnight blew a soft puff over you.

It twinkled a little inside, settled in a dust, fine mist on your cheeks. It was warm, and it was new. It lifted the dark away. Warm kisses on your forehead.

Your eyes rested, relaxed. You breathed slower, at ease.

You went to bed yesterday.

Midnight had gone.

It was today now.

You had gone to bed thinking, thinking over everything. Over loves and over hates. Over triumphs, over loss. Over yesteryear you thought, yesterday.

Then Midnight whispered quiet as they opened up the door. All of that had happened, it had all stayed no more.

Under Midnight’s cloak you slept, renewed, and it all lifted away.

No longer did you worry, no longer did you wait. It was a new dawn now.

At a turn, at a peak, at a flip between the dates, Midnight stood, Janus-faced.

They closed their eyes slowly at the back, and opened them ahead.

You remembered, every time, how Midnight had been there. How Midnight closed a chapter, and Midnight cleared the air.

To tomorrow, Midnight sang, melodic in their tune. Another day had gone, another day anew. Look back to remember, but dwell on that no more. Midnight sang today, as Midnight sang before.

Look ahead to tomorrow now, when you remember yesterday. Every night, every year, every anniversary they say: Midnight closed the curtain, and Midnight opened the day.

It would be midnight, as it had been midnight, as it had always been before. And then it would be new.

The Poor Print

Established in 2013, The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford. Written by members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff, new issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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