TEMPER THE SWORD
Temper the sword of justice in the waters of mercy even if that can only mean sometimes a sharp blade and a quick death. Anger blunts. Compassion keeps an edge on things that cuts deeper than knives. The slayer and the slain dance to the music of the same illusion. Their eyes are not at war with one another. If you encounter a rabid fox don’t blame the fox for having rabies, but remembering there but for the grace of an infinite number of random things, there go you, do what you must. You can’t cure the fox by letting it bite other people. But don’t look for the cure anywhere other than in the heart of the disease. Like great wealth use your health to wake the sick up like children from their nightmares though there will always be some you must let sleep. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life, the deranged currencies of revenge. Hammurabi was a businessman. But justice isn’t a way of keeping tidy books that balance. The volcano demands your first born like a pound of flesh to appease it. And you throw something in to escape its wrath like a delusion demands a placebo. Hatred is a snake and when it arises in you like a cobra wearing the hood of the moon like an eclipse of the light there is no flute, no voice, no whip you can use to train it to strike other people. It will sink its fangs like the first and last crescents of the moon into your Adam’s apple and hang on tight like a word it doesn’t want you to say. It will enter your bloodstream like an assassin you raised as your own to get what was never yours back. Life isn’t fair or unfair. Culpable or innocent. And so much must go unanswered like the abyss of the silence that surveys the ineffable loss of its belief in a rational God and knows there’s nothing it could ask for in exchange to make up for it. Justice isn’t a scar you can measure out to fit the wound as if one size fit everyone. It’s a mirage of water and palms in the desert beside a real skull trying to bear true witness to the illusion of it all. That’s why it must not only be done but be seen to be done that whatever judgment comes down, innocent or guilty, the jury confesses its crime like a perjured eye-witness to the criminal.