1852

In 1852 the Ottoman Sultan Abdulmejid the First,
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Knight
of the Garter, grown impatient with the endless
squabbling over the sacred spots of Jerusalem
that, clutching his turban and crying, “Dur!” and
possibly, “Beni yalnız bırakın!” and, “Git buradan!”
to the Jews, the Muslims, Greek Orthodox,
Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic, Coptic,
Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox petitions,
declared that henceforth status quo would reign
in the Holy Land, all rights of possession, lighting,
decorations and hours of worship be frozen
as if time itself had run out like the last grain
of sand from the hourglass, which is why against
the wall of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,
sitting on a cornice of palmettes, propped beneath
an arched window where only pigeons of undeclared
denomination may approach it, is a ladder that
may yet see its bicentennial, proud as a flag,
because no one remembers who put it there.

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