... In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.
— Suarez Miranda, Viajes devarones prudentes, Libro IV,Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658 1
Past a signpost, the land is either arid or fruitful. The weeds trail off or grow tall. Their wither or rise battering buildings, and roads, and places to meet. The effects of an event are always first revealed as an ecological crisis. Once under quarantine those coordinates are shaken free of precedent, made ready for late laws and advanced orders. Cordoned parcels planned away from populations where the public becomes private like a veiled work of art - knowing all the while that the public was never public at all. Into the zone like a Stalker. Through a hole in a fence ducked under at nightfall is a border town. Its purpose to quell contingency and keep the status quo from the insurgent. But the site attracts no eyes, so stealth is a luxury.
destruction makes a space
lake of toxic waste
where the zombies grow
in restricted zones
Tattered ruins, where common laws becomes uncommon. Every empire has an end.
1 Jorge Luis Borges, ‘On Exactitude in Science,’ Collected Fictions, translated by Andrew Hurley.